The Mind of the Restless Spirit
“Do not be deceived! The busiest people harbor the greatest weariness, their restlessness is weakness—they no longer have the capacity for waiting and idleness.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
I think about being idle, but rarely find myself able to contain my restlessness. If busy is a weakness then I confess to being weak. For me, being active in my days is the only way to survive. Like a shark, I suppose, I need forward motion.
Naturally, I don’t believe that forward motion is weakness; merely the bold act of being alive. Sitting still and thinking may feel like idleness, but to me it feels like a lost opportunity. Doesn’t that time belong to reading or writing, or maybe weeding the garden? Idleness feels like active avoidance to me. There’s so very much to do in this brief lifetime! So yes, call me weak.
Writing this blog fills idle time. Time I might use for other things like sitting still and meditating. Maybe quietly sipping a cup of tea and contemplating existentialism. To be fair to Nietzsche, busy isn’t the intent, for busy for the sake of busy truly is folly. Productive is really the point. Give me an hour and I’ll do my best to dance with it. Productive makes the world go ’round, I believe.
Someday we all find idle. But what will we do with now? Such is the mind of the restless spirit.
Doing what makes us and those around – family, neighbors, or new friends you meet in the world, happy, essentially spreading joy; seems to be productive. But sometimes the need is insatiable. Some of us, like addicts, tend to OD on feeling a need to be constructive (or productive), just keep piling it on, on the verge of overwhelming. Work, being with family, friends, etc. Guilt? Why do we do this??