“Don’t Do Anything” versus “Don’t Do Anything Stupid”

There are moments in life when we shouldn’t do anything. For instance, when there’s a hurricane coming. Like, really, we should just stay on our hands and let the hurricane pass. Do nothing.

And there are moments when we should do just the right thing.

Both start the same: “don’t do anything”. The difference is in how they end.

Because they are so similar in the beginning, we are confused about which is which. And we try not to do anything stupid when we really shouldn’t do anything at all, while stopping entirely, freezing, when we should do something, just not something stupid.

I struggle a lot with doing stuff, with reacting, with being busy and achieving. I struggle in the sense that I am quite obsessed with this. It stems from a deeply engrained belief that I am (or I should be) in control. On one hand, this helps my self esteem, in a “I am the master of my own destiny” kind of way. On the other, it really inflates my ego beyond what’s necessary.

This incessant desire to keep busy, or to fix things, or to achieve something, is more often than not rooted in an incorrect view of the world. We tend to put more weight on what we can do than what we can actually do. We think we are important. Well, we’re not that good. We’re not that powerful. We can barely control our own reactions, so why we should keep rolling around pretending we can control the environment, our fate, or the fate of others?

There really are just two types of doing: one in which we just don’t, so to speak, and the other in which we just try to refrain from damaging. That’s it.

Anything else is just delusion.

And I tend to believe more and more that doing nothing, or just accepting what is, as what it is, holds more power than struggling not to do anything stupid.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash




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