Let the World Pass You By

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell

By Leo Babauta

I was sitting outside my new home yesterday (we just moved last week, and we love the new place), watching the world go by.

There were people in cars, in a hurry to get to their next appointment. There were birds flying by, insects just as busy as the people in cars, plants and weeds thriving in the humid Guam climate.

Inside the house, my children were also busy, as ever, making a mess of the house (which my wife and I would soon clean up), getting into things, their natural curiosity overpowering our previous pleas for them not to play with lotion or take things apart.

The sky was slightly overcast and there was a cool breeze, quite strong and pleasant actually.

It’s not often that most of us just sit quietly, and allow the world to pass us by.

Why not?

What is so important that it can’t wait until later? What email must be answered right this moment? Do we really need to read all those articles online, all those messages from others, all those newspapers and magazines? Do we need to have the television and radio and Internet on all the time?

Is life passing us by as we keep our minds super-busy? Are we missing out on the beautiful world around us as we constantly think about the future — what we need to do, our anxieties about what might happen — and the past — what we did wrong, what someone else did to us, what we said, what should have happened?

When was the last time you just sat, and observed? Why not do it today?