Wednesday, June 11, 2008


By Shruthi.

When we were kids, our music teacher asked us after a two-week long break, "What did you do in the break?"
"We played", we said, "We read books, we painted, we climbed trees, we went to summer camps..."
"Oh, I was hoping at least one of you would tell me that you did nothing", she said.
We stared at her open-mouthed.
"Nothing", she repeated, "As in, lying on the floor staring at the fan? Standing outside and observing the clouds? Lolling on the bed and looking at the patterns on the drapes? Or just staring at the ceiling all day? Did you do that?"
"Umm... err..." Was this a trick question? We did not know what to say.
"All that you did is important. But doing 'nothing' is also as important." She smiled. "You are too young to understand, but I'll just tell you that doing 'nothing' breeds creativity. Next time you are bored, try and do 'nothing'. And see how interesting it is."

I thought she was joking, but now I think she has a point.

Kids of today have their days full. So full that they don't have time to watch the clouds or look at the ladybird make its way across the lawn. And what is life without these little pleasures? What is learning and fun without admiring the world around you? Where is the time to let a child's little brain think and imagine and create by itself?

Perhaps we should encourage our kids to do 'nothing' this summer?!


Spicy Mama said...

Funny you mentioned this, I often say to my friends....why dont kids just "play" anymore. I remember growing up (brought up here in the US)...and we would be OUT till the sun went down. There were no cell phones, pagers..pretty much all we got was a couple of dimes and nickles and mom saying "Call me when you get there". What happened to making mud pies on the sidewalk and simply running thru the sprinklers?


Spicy Mama from "The Saffron Patch"

Dee said...

lovely idea:)..BTW, asking a child to do nothing can be the most challenging task...for both parties ;)

DotThoughts said...

I am so with you on this one. Doing nothing was the most delicious aspect of childhood. My 3-yr old does nothing when get back from pre-school.

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bird's eye view said...

I just blogged about this a couple days back. I hate the pressure of summer camps and playschools and so on - summer should be a time for running free and doing nothing, otherwise what's the point of vacations?

Animesh Raj said...

oh how much i enjoy lying down and watching time pass by! i think what you are suggesting is that we must spend some time amidst nature by just observing it. there's so much to learn from nature...and one can never get a more tranquil, calm place to relax than a garden full of flowers and butterflies with clouds looking straight in our eyes. in fact many famous poets whose works we read today with awe derived their ideas from their observations of nature. i just wish the world gave its people the time to realize the beauty of nature.

Suki said...

It's very reassuring to hear you say this. As a teen, these days I tend to just sit around thinking and daydreaming, and sometimes it makes me feel like I'm getting nowhere. But then at other times I feel those quiet moments are the most fruitful and productive of them all!

the mad momma said...

what a lovely post!!! people think i am insane to encourage the kids to do nothing. but if we fill up their heads with ideas and things to do - how will they ever learn to fill up the space and learn to deal with the silence?

some of the greatest inventions have come in quiet lazy moments...