Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

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Idleness vs. Introspection

Idleness vs. Introspection

Our society is almost allergic to idleness and tends to classify anything even remotely similar to idleness as just that. This make sense, considering that work is an important value for most Western countries, so being idle is like being a parasite, in a way. However, not everything that resembles idleness is the same thing, since there are other activities that though motionless in nature, may be very active below the surface. One such activity is introspection.


Introspection is when you look inside yourself to process thoughts, ideas, and whatever else catches your attention. Of course, with so many things buzzing around on the social media, it’s hard to find the time to do any introspection, but whenever we do, it usually pays off. It’s not easy work though. Oftentimes we discover things that are unpleasant or at least uncomfortable. The risk of finding these things outside ourselves is even greater though, especially if you watch the news! Yet, those external things can easily be avoided. You just need to switch the channel, or close the browser tab and it’s out of your sight. It’s not as easy to do the same with the stuff that comes about through introspection, however.


Introspection may appear as daydreaming, or just sitting idle doing nothing. However, contrary to other more passive activities, it is a very active approach to life that takes initiative and courage. After all, whatever we discover through introspection may linger in our minds for a while and there is no close button for it. Idleness on the other hand is just passing time. It may disguise as entertainment sometimes but in essence it is letting someone else take the wheel of our minds. Even if it is relaxing at times, it is definitely not useful in the long run.


That’s not to say that we should always be doing something. Introspection can be relaxing too, especially if it is done consciously and with a broad objective. Inspiration is often a byproduct of introspection, as is creativity. Yet, if it is done right, introspection is free of stress and quite soothing. It’s very much like driving in a country road on a warm night (until some idiot starts tailgating you with the long beams on!). Contrary to driving though, you are not limited by a particular direction or the limitations that accompany the road network. Introspection is an act of imagination and as such it can be very liberating.


So, next time you run out of things to read on beBee (assuming that’s even possible!), or you are tired of reading articles on FoxyDataScience (my blog), you can always try introspection for a while. And if people around you think you are lazy, who cares anyway?


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