Is There Something to This Nothing?
Okay, confession time. I told my husband this morning I was having trouble coming up with something to write about in this week's blog. He said, "Just write about nothing. You know, like in Seinfeld." For those who have seen the TV show Seinfeld, you'll know what he meant. In one episode, Jerry Seinfeld and his sidekick George Costanza got the go-ahead from NBC to write a pilot script starring Jerry himself. They wasted a lot of time coming up with brilliant lines such as, "Hello" and "How are you?" They finally decided they'd write a show about nothing, which, if you've ever seen the Seinfeld show, is exactly what the premise was.
Turns out if you search the internet for quotes about nothing, there's a lot to be said for it. Here's a rather famous (and true!) quote: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke A lot of implications can be drawn from this, especially with the way the world is going today. How long will we sit and do nothing while evil seems to be winning? Do we say nothing to avoid getting into arguments or being censored in social media? Or do we risk it and make our point known? Check out what Aristotle said about nothing:
Doing nothing can have weighty consequences when it comes to living in the world today. And in our personal lives, doing nothing can result in a simple I-wasted-my-whole-day realization or in a LOT of regret when we look back at our lives and wish we'd made peace with a relative instead of doing nothing about the relationship.
But sometimes doing nothing is just what we need, as in enjoying a well-earned vacation or when we allow our bodies and minds to rest with TV or a movie after a stressful day. But let's be careful when we do nothing. When we spend too many hours ignoring what needs to done, a kind of permanent laziness sets in. If we're not careful, doing nothing can become a lifestyle.
On the lighter side, Oscar Wilde once said, "I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about." The older I get, the more this seems to be true. This business about becoming wiser as you age doesn't seem to be true for me. I cringe when people ask me advice about something. After all, what do I know? Which leads me to my next quote.
Mark Twain said, "If you have nothing to say, say nothing." The Bible speaks to this (as it does to so much in life) in Proverbs 13:3, "Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything."
Even Abraham Lincoln weighed in on this subject when he said, “It is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
There's even a National Nothing Day, believe it or not. It falls on January 16th, and on that day we aren't supposed to celebrate anything. So sorry if January 16th is your birthday!
It's quite fascinating to scroll through all the quotes about doing or saying nothing. There are many more than the few I mentioned here. Next time you've got nothing to do (ha!), open your internet browser and search for them. Those "tidbits of nothing" can be very informative!
Until next time,