The best thing about being responsible is the thrill of shunning responsibility. The more you have to do, the more you can enjoy not doing it. I am committed to around ninety hours of activities every week, and, as you might imagine, avoiding those commitments can be nearly orgasmic. This weekend should have been spent writing the ten, or so, pages worth of essays I have due this week, but I did something better, namely: nothing.
Friday I did nothing with one of my good friends, we watched some television, a couple of movies, and she read my palm; not particularly memorable, but it was pleasant. Saturday I slept. Sunday morning I missed church because I had gone camping the night before. Sunday evening I witnessed one of the most amazing concerts of my life; Monday could have been a productive day, but it wasn’t.
I went through a phase this summer when I felt the constant need to do something. Oddly enough, now that I have more to do than can possibly be done, I only want to do nothing. My father might say, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground” to which I might silently reply, “he sure knows how to throw a party!” Safe, responsible diversion can only be so fun, and only real danger and recklessness can get your adrenaline pumping. You only live once, so be careful; (but not too careful) surprisingly there can be more to life than excitement.
Some of the most wonderful moments in your life can happen when you aren’t doing anything. Listening to records until late at night when you should be writing your midterm paper, talking about whatever comes to mind is not really an activity, but its how friendships are built. Standing on a balcony appreciating the cityscape when you really should be studying for finals, not saying much, but enjoying the moment and the company you’re in; you are being idle, but in a truer sense you are living.
The people you care about most aren’t the people you do things with. The people you care about most are the people you spend time with when you aren’t doing anything. Eventually you get to a point where you don’t need an excuse to spend time together, you may even shun some responsibilities to do so. When you get there you know, “I really care about this person (or these people).” Those connections are what make life worth living, and they can only be built on the pillars of laziness, irresponsibility, and idleness.