Useless Time

Zhou Guoping is a wise man. Wendy bought a book of him, and I am reading a piece of it. He described the value of “useless things”, and “useless time”.

A story was about parents playing with kids on the beach. The traditional view is the parents is accompany the kids, but his view is, the kids are guiding the parents to discover happiness – the water, the sand, the grass, and the ants! Children are really good at enjoying themselves for something that is perceived by adult as useless, but it is those stuff that people often enjoy themselves best.

Wendy and I were very tired this year. Why? Maybe too much time was devoted to do useful things, like work, and personal financing. Even watching DVD is classified explicitly as “entertainment time” with a goal to relax. When was the time that we were so really relax? The time that we feel worthless. When we are in university, we had nothing, just endless time to kill! That is maybe the least productive, but happiest time in recent years. The happiest time in my whole life is maybe the pre-primary school time. Not productive, either.

I wrote an article named Ability to Make Impact is the Cause of Pressure. Now, when we grows older, we feel the ability to make impact. We understand a small change in the setting in bank account may cause twice as much as monthly spending as when we were in university. Then what? Pressure, and no time to enjoy the life.

Zhou is really wise to point it out that doing something useless actually is the way to enjoy our lives.

7 thoughts on “Useless Time

  1. jqian

    Let’s say that once we die and rise into heaven (if we are so blessed :-) ), we would look back at our life. We would definitely have a different perspective from what we had during our life time. We would find out that what we used to consider as useful or even critically important endeavor would actually end up as being useless because they were all for the purpose material accumulation (monetary gain). What we used to consider as “useless” activities such as relaxing with our family members, helping other less priviledged peers would become the most useful efforts in life. Think about it, we can’t bring material assets beyond our graves. But the love toward family members and other human beings will last eternity. I may sound a little philosophical, but I believe that’s the truth. I would say that 99% of smart people may be blinded by such mis-alignment in priority, me often times included. What we need is more wisdom.

  2. jqian

    More on this topic:

    Buddism actually dig into the root of the human sufferings: Because we have too much desires, we suffer for these desires. Buddism’s main goal of life is to eliminating such human desires so that one would not be burdened by that. Basically, from Buddism’s perspective, human sufferings, small or large, are all caused by self desires.

  3. Ke

    This is true. When I was a student, I always had a lot of spare time and I often found nothing to do, and thus got bored and uneasy. But when I thought about those “boring times”, I would say, “how happy and easy I was, hope I could go back through time.”

  4. derek

    OMG. i’m reading this book these days. nice book. and. i’m zhouguoping’s super fans..

    useless thing is always interesting thing.

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