Just Do Nothing

Of course, doing nothing is a misnomer, because as long as we’re living and breathing, we’re doing something, right? What might appear to be nothing to others may actually be doing something to the person who is doing nothing?

Take my New York experience, for example; to those busy pedestrians I probably appeared to be a lost tourist gawking at the wonders of the Big Apple. In fact, I was a fellow traveler in the stream of life who was stopping to admire the features of the city they called home. I was taking it in, enjoying the moment, possibly seeing things that they, who lived there every day, had never seen because they had never taken the time to just stop, and do nothing. Parks and rec professionals actually exist, in large part, to give people the opportunity to “just do nothing.”

Passive parks and green spaces provide a “do-nothing” haven, a place for people to just pull off the busy human highway, look up and enjoy the sky and trees. Ponds, lakes, and rivers offer the same respite but with an added bonus of aquatic distractions. Paths and trails entice people to “do nothing” while they’re walking.

Even active endeavors such as youth and adult sports might be considered by some to be “do-nothing” activities; they aren’t school or a job, but they do take people out of their everyday routine and give them a chance to recuperate from the daily grind.

So on this Friday, here’s hoping Weekenders can stop at some point during the rush of the day, side-step, pivot and plant your back against the wall. Look up and see the forest for the trees. Take a break, do nothing and recognize that you are part of something important and vital to your fellow travelers.

Sometimes, the best way to “do nothing” is to “just do it.”

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine who also served for 15 years in municipal parks and recreation, is now a full-time photojournalist who lives in Beaufort, S.C.; he can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email cwo4usmc@comcast.net.

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