Friday, November 21, 2014

It Is Not All Sausages and Fingers

"Slow down you crazy child.
You're so ambitious for a juvenile.
But then if you're so smart,
tell me why are you still so afraid."
-"Vienna" 
Billy Joel

I believe that sometimes the hardest thing for someone to do is to do nothing.  I do not mean "do nothing" in the sense of being lazy.  Rather, I speak of not giving in to the temptation to do "something, anything" when disorder begins to become the order of the day.  

It is hard for us humans, I reckon, to do nothing.  No less of a man than President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, for whom tomorrow marks the fifty-first anniversary of his murder on the streets of Dallas, Texas, implored his fellow Americans to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Americans are persons of action apparently.  Morbid obesity notwithstanding. 

One must be careful though to not confuse activity with action.  The two concepts, while similar in certain respects, are neither identical nor interchangeable.  More often than we tend to realize, I suspect, in response to an uptick in the level of stress around us we ramp up our own activity level. We do so because, presumably, doing something is better than doing nothing.  

Maybe, maybe not.  

I have spent the entirety of my life preaching to anyone who shall listen or who is not able to move quickly enough to get out of earshot with dispatch that panic is the one human emotion I shall never understand.  It is entirely and absolutely wasteful.  It blinds one from the task at hand, which is addressing and dealing with whatever it is that prompted depression of the panic button to begin with, and it causes one to waste energy.  Any and all energy devoted to the task of panicking is energy that is not available to attack the original and (guess what) still-existing problem.  Panic may constitute activity. It never, ever constitutes action.  

Thus, a fair percentage of the time the best course of action to take when it feels as if the world around your is beginning to spiral out of control is simply to step back, inhale deeply and take stock of what is going on.  Riding out the storm shall serve you well.  Far better in fact than trying to out-accelerate the then-accelerating chaos. 

Slow down, crazy children.  Slow the hell down...


-AK
   

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