“Ordinary people think merely of spending time, great people think of using it.” –Arthur Schopenhauer
And might I add, extraordinary people spend time thinking of how to use it and end up doing nothing with it. If you haven’t figured it out yet, yes, I identify as an extraordinary being.
Off late, with the spread of social media and the internet, not a day goes by without you hearing something preachy or uplifting. Be it about positive thinking or influencers saying that we need to work smart rather than work hard for the thousandth time. Without a doubt, all of that feels really good to hear on a normal day. But on certain days(like this one), when I don’t feel like working at all in the first place, all of this positivity sounds borderline insulting.
You may think that this sort of mentality is toxic to have and that it is an unhealthy way to deal with problems. You are right and I totally agree with you. But can you just keep your logical thinking and level-headedness aside for a while and rant with me?
As long as you don’t feel like the human form of the clown emoji for longer durations, this is not that bad a phase to be in. Think about it. There are a few positive takeaways from negativity in itself.
Take the case of laziness and procrastination. The fact that you stash away chores for later, shows how optimistic you are about life and how strongly you believe in a better tomorrow. How you believe that a day will finally arrive when you will break free from the shackles of your mind and move on to worthier tasks, like homework.
Running away from your problems isn’t that bad either. For starters, it improves your cardiovascular endurance(I’m sorry for that). But then living in a state of denial is an art in itself. Even after being surrounded by the harsh reality at all times, if you still manage to live in your own problem-free bubble, it is definitely something worth appreciating. It needs perseverance and a thick skin to remain unaffected. This is something that I learned from our political leaders.
Now, these periods of absolute idleness and futility don’t just help you see the positive side of negativity. It also brings out the hypocrisy of forced positivity. “You Only Live Once” or YOLO is the best example. Just because your days in this world are limited, doesn’t mean that each day has to be better than the previous one. Paraphrasing from Neville Shah standup special Going Downhill, that’s just too much pressure to put on one periodic rotation of the earth about its axis around the sun. If you were to look at it, a person who procrastinates has a much healthier outlook towards life than a person who says “Live every day as if it’s your last”, before sharing a Socrates or a Rumi quote imprinted on a completely unrelated image of Heath Ledger’s Joker on Instagram.
I guess what I’m trying to say in these disgruntled blabberings is that it is okay to feel unproductive and irrationally angry at the world at times. Just because you know that you’re being unreasonable doesn’t mean that you have to immediately do something about it. The fact that you acknowledge it, is already one step towards recovery. Give yourself the space to figure out the problem. And while you’re at it, laugh at yourself and others even, as long as your bubble of fake prophecies and pseudo-intellect doesn’t become your reality.
So the next time you feel low or angry about something, just remember that it is alright to feel the way you do. Rant unreasonably about your side of the story, for a while. Justify each and every mistake of yours, for a while. Look at that glass of water as half full instead of half empty, even when there is no water in it, to begin with, for a while.