Balk: Issues of the idle mind


Self-management is paramount.
It also takes work.


A high school classmate posted this on FaceBook:

I am told that this has been refuted. (Link.) It makes no difference to me if all the statements are true. What would motivate a person to attack some folks’ families?

The events of the same morning provided insight as to what might motivate me to.

I had set out early in the morning to take the bus, and then the subway, downtown. I was set for five hours or more sitting outside Dunkin’ Donuts, using their wi-fi until the tablet drained. Then I’d take the tablet inside to charge, and back outside write in my notebook longhand. And in due course fetch the tablet and go back online.

I had my agenda, but it seemed far less than needed to fill five hours. I was likely to face several hours sitting there with nothing in particular to do. On the bus, I became anxious — anxious — as to how to fill that time.

I am used to busying myself continually with positive activities.

Looking back now, a week later, it comes to me that I could have chosen to be content with having some idle time. That’s not what I did that morning.

It’s paramount to send all one’s energies, emotions, in positive directions. Then one will have positive relationships, do positive things, choose the best, feel better, accomplish things — and avoid engaging in such negativity as that FaceBook post.

Try as I might, however, that morning I could not think of any positive way to fill that time. I tried to think of something I could desire — when the time came, I could occupy myself focusing on, or fantasyzing about, that happy desire — but again found nothing to fill the need. It was as if I were watching a blank screen on which nothing would appear.

One faces sometimes a hard task: dreaming up things to want, to work for, based on nothing at all. One must create the desires out of thin air, out of whole cloth. And this takes work.

I remarked recently about “forced arbitrary decisions.”

I became frustrated that nothing would appear on my blank screen, and my feelings soured. In such a situation, one may find things available to do that aren’t positive; that act on those sour feelings. Things like posting a FaceBook meme smearing others’ families.

Though I might conceivably have settled on spending my time focused on desire for my own, nice place; or focused on desire to become William Tell the talk show host;
the thing to do at any moment is never OUT OF REACH; the thing to do is always, instead, AT HAND. For Joseph; for me; for you.

If nothing else is available, one can merely love others. Mend the relationship with that quarrelly neighbor, annoying co-worker or difficult church member. If it can’t be mended, just love the person anyway.

When I was at the dollar store, I used to spend my smoke breaks sitting on the curb of the parking lot, just loving on whoever might pass by. I would visualize the person surrounded by bright, white light, and wish her or him the best of health, prosperity and relationships.

I could have done that in my idle time at Dunkin’ Donuts, that morning, also.

The whole purpose of this post has been to delay publication of “What great thing can I do?” I am facing indecision about some portions of that text, still have more to write, and the draft already exceeds 1,000 words — just about the limit of what a reader’s likely to sit still for. An extra week will give me time to figure these things out.

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