Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Quiet And Boring Life

Smile, breathe, and go slowly.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

This quote caught my eye recently along with an article about the joy of a boring life. I try to smile more than I frown, paying attention to my breath is part of my daily meditation, and most people believe I do an excellent job of going slowly. Beyond this, and despite what some people think about me, I live a life that is mostly boring. No one in their right mind would call me “Mr. Excitement”. Recently I shared two quotes with friends that they believed perfectly described my personality type. The first quote may have actually come from me. It goes “Why stand when I can sit down, why sit down when I can lie down, and why just lie down when I can sleep”? The other quote is a Spanish proverb that goes “Isn’t it wonderful to do nothing all day and then to rest afterwards”? I just thought of another great quote that I like a lot. It’s a Zen quote. It goes “It’s better to do nothing than to be busy doing nothing”. Although my wife would probably disagree, I am not really a lazy person. I believe in doing whatever needs to be done. What I dislike is unnecessary activity or busy work that other people think needs to be done. If you want to do something, go do it, but don’t involve me in your need to “keep busy”. I am a contemplative person and I like the quiet, boring life. I like to watch grass grow and flowers bloom. Watching paint dry is another favorite activity. If my wife wants to go shopping at the Mall, I’m happy to sit on a bench for hours as I sip my Starbucks latte and watch people. There’s way too much activity in life. Much of it is a waste of time. Maybe it’s because I am getting old but I prefer to just be. I am like a potted plant. Water me once a week and leave me alone.

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