Close your eyes.
A suburban housewife at the Home Depot buying dewy peonies and pink rubber gloves.
She tells the cashier, “Oh, just something to do.”
Now picture this:
A 25-year-old L.A. blogger signing up for a recreational aerial silks class.
“Oh, it keeps me busy.”
My oh my.
There is nothing I despise hearing more than “Just trying to pass the time.”
Nothing that makes me lose more faith in the overall idea of humans as meaningful and purposive beings.
I mean, is this what the world has come to?
Us human beings simply trying to preoccupy ourselves whilst we wait for our inevitable demise?
Just trying to pass the time?!
Keeping ourselves busy?!
Is there no worthwhile pursuit left?
Are we just trying to take up hobbies and activities to entertain ourselves and fill our time here?
Now please calm down.
I am not at all referring to your choice to learn the guitar and expand your artistic capital as a meaningless endeavor.
I am referring to the phenomena of human folk deliberately setting out to keep themselves amused.
If you think about it, that’s what the world does to tumultuous teens. We keep them preoccupied so they don’t get into trouble, or worse, think for themselves. You know, just in case they decide a government upheaval might stand a fair chance
Now, I’m not going to make the leap and say the whole system is based on keeping our minds preoccupied on fruitless avenues. For now.
But what I am saying is that what parents and teachers do to troublesome teens, we are doing to ourselves.
And my problem lies within this question:
Is there not something we are meant to be doing? Something all-consuming we feel we need to dedicate our whole being towards? Isn’t that what’s supposed to be the case? Or at least, should be the case? Are there not important things in the world or the grander picture that necessitate all of our action and thought?
Now once again I am not at all attacking the decision to go to a party. I am not saying all actions should be means based. Humans obviously don’t work like that. But to deliberately seek a way to pass time (a “clock ticker,” if you will) seems wrong.
Self enabling a mechanism to keep yourself occupied seems as if it would be counterintuitive to the idea of human purpose. Should there be any, that is.
This is simply an analytic of my irritation and confusion every time I hear, “It’s just something to do.”
Even though, to be honest, I don’t really know what to do, and I don’t think any of us do.
Anjalie Tandon hopes you reconsider the next time you decide to take up a clock-ticker.