A text by Juhee Hahm

Anyhow I am a person who have a difficulty to feel “relaxation”, or does not realise the “stress” and realise that it was “stress” when I am completely relaxed, after several years of stress. Also as a person who have a problem with dealing with “doing nothing”(I would say “blank moment”). I tend to constantly do something, and when I have nothing to do, I become extremely nervous, and have to face with the frustrating feeling that “Am I useless?”. However with internet, it is easy to make myself busy, so that I can be distracted from those thoughts. Since it makes me constantly busy, I feel like, I am doing something even though I am actually not doing anything. However, maybe because of my cultural background, or my family culture, I had to feel guilty from being lazy, especially in the society where multitask is the pursuable action, than mono-task. However, from when do we start to feel guilty?

English philosopher Bertrand Russell said, the feeling guilt from being laziness came from industrial revolution, from 18 Century. By making workers feel guilt from being lazy, the owner of factory can earn more profit from hard working employees. Also, German philosopher, author Byung-chul Han said that multitask is the quality that was required in primitive era, when human needed to defend themselves from animal, at the same time keep their children safe, and simultaneously need to supplement himself with food as well. He also mentioned about being lazy, the deep boredom, that if sleep represents the high point of bodily relaxation, deep boredom is the peak of mental relaxation. a purely hectic rush produces nothing new. It reproduces and accelerates what is already available from his book in Fatigue Society (German: Die Müdigkeitsgesellschaft), that deep boredom brings genuine creativity.

Also according to English philosopher Bertrand Russell said “ … contributed nearly the whole of what we call civilisation. It cultivated the arts and discovered the sciences; it wrote the books, invented the philosophies, and refined social relations. Even the liberation of the oppressed has usually been inaugurated from above. Without the leisure class, mankind would never have emerged from barbarism. The method of a leisure class without duties was, however, extraordinarily wasteful … and the class as a whole was not exceptionally intelligent. The class might produce one Darwin, but against him had to be set tens of thousands of country gentlemen who never thought of anything more intelligent than fox-hunting and punishing poachers.”

Since I have a habit of keep chasing myself from feeling “not enough”, being bored seems like such a luxury setting for me. However after graduation, I was completely exhausted to myself, from emptiness after 4years of hectic journey. From the emptiness, I couldn’t do anything, so I had to let myself “being bored”. After a week of boredom, I became bored from being bored, I started to draw, but still nothing else. For a month, I just concentrated on one drawing a day. It was mediating process for me, taking all the thoughts inside me to outside, like putting thoughts in safe external hard driver. More surprising thing was the reaction or the result of drawing. My profession became more recognisable with the drawings that I‘ve done for a month than the work that I’ve done for 4 years. It was really interesting experience.

During these times of boredom, I could also found myself more socialising with people, getting know more others than 4 years. Since I’ve push myself to work all the time, I felt never have time to socialise. However, during a month of boredom, I could finally ask for coffee to people that I know before or even to people that I didn’t before. Since empathy is the basic elements of socialising, the social experiment that was done on 1978 shows that the value of boredom is also related to feeling of empathy.  

Social-psychologist John Darley and Daniel Bateson did experiment called “Good Samaritan”. The experiment showed that the amount of “hurrienss”induced in the subject had a major effect on helping behaviour. Since behaviour of “helping” is derived from “feeling empathy”, the empathy come from situational factor, than how the individual is ethical. “ethics become a luxury as the speed of our daily lives increase”

Experiencing the creativity and empathy with laziness in person, I started to believe in the power of laziness. Especially as a person who came from hectic metropolitan, it was truly amazing experience. Of course, still my big part of my mind is constantly pushing to busy mode “to keep the balance” though.