The Silence between the Songs

Sandhya Nagaraj
Published on: 3rd May 2014
I live in a world surrounded by people who worship work. I am one of them, by the way. However, I have come to realize that today, we have a very devastating idea of "worship" for this work which is our so - called "passion".

Scene 1: I have had a rough day at work. I delivered within the deadline alright, but it didn't meet the quality I expected myself to reach - and I'm not beating myself up about it, because I know my expectations are high when it comes to my own work. So I head back home, satisfied with the day, but knowing that it can get better. I reach home, speak to my family for a while, have dinner and sit down with the project I did in the morning. In the next hour, I begin a similar project - a new one, with renewed enthusiasm, with faith that this one will be much better than the last one.

Scene 2: I am very excited to meet up my best friend in the evening. She cannot come due to unavoidable reasons, and now I have nothing planned for the next 3 hours of my evening. I call up 5 other friends of mine to check if they are free:

1. One of them turns out to be free. Perfect! My evening goes smooth.

2. Nobody is free. I pick up a book, get lost in the world presented by the author, only to return to reality a few hours later, and glad that I "used" my time instead of doing nothing (and probably even write a review of the book because writing is my 'passion')- because "doing nothing" is what we need to guard ourselves against. Laziness - Sloth- is one of the seven sins.
the silence between the songs,passion
Scene 3: After a great day's work, I am now drinking tomato soup with my brother. We are at a restaurant, waiting for the main course to be served. I am extremely delighted by my productivity during the day. We talk a bit about my wonderful day, and shift to topics that siblings generally talk about. After a sumptuous dinner, on my way home, I am already planning what I will do with the few remaining hours of my day.

Scenarios I have described above: Obsession with work- which might even be my "passion".

There is nothing wrong being obsessed in work, as long as you are not doing work to "fill-in" that gap, that silence, that pause. I have come to realize that an alarmingly large number of people cannot sit still, cannot be happy if they are not doing something "useful" or not being there for someone, they cannot handle the space between two events, the silence between two songs, the pause between conversations. And hence they fill it with "work", to escape that silence which holds nothing but questions for them. The space isn't there for you to fill it up. It is there for a breather.
This is not what peace is, it is exactly the opposite.

If you are terrified about not having any work to do, then stop and give it a thought. Who told you that you aren't useful unless you are continuously on your toes, being "useful" in some way? It is not true, it is the biggest myth.

If only you are willing to take that chance of not doing anything "useful", sit still for a few minutes a day and do nothing, you will discover that silence holds all answers, it asks you no questions. The gap is not there for you to fill it with more work. The pause isn't for you to begin a meaningless conversation. It is to absorb what has been said, and revel in the beauty of the moment. The silence between the songs, is only a moment's time for you to stop dancing to the old tune, and prepare for what's coming next!
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