Doing Nothing

A few days ago I asked my children what they wanted to do for the day. They said they just want to do nothing. And I asked why they didn’t want to do anything. My daughter breathes in exasperation and spoke to me as if she were trying to patiently explain to a little girl. “Mom, doing nothing is still doing something. It has the word DO, right.” Yes she is right. Once again there is wisdom in what kids say. Choosing to do nothing is an action by itself. It is choosing inaction. 

There are certain instances in our lives when the call is to not do anything because doing so will further complicate matters. Acting on it may also move us further from our primary intent. Or it may also cause others or even ourselves some harm. The natural reaction when faced with a situation is to find immediate resolution. We want to put closure as much as we can. But acting in haste before thinking through oftentimes result in sub par results. Maybe a pause is what is needed. 

But if doing nothing is hard, maybe we can do something else instead. And this something else should be as different from that which we want to do. Call it a diversion or distraction but I like to think of it as the space needed for new ways and ideas to simmer. The distance allows the forging of connections beyond the obvious.Before you know it, without doing anything, all will eventually fall into their right places. They just need the time and the breathing room to do so. Doing nothing is not so bad after all. 

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