Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Do nothing to change your life

Now here’s a great idea: Stephen Cottrell has written a book entitled Do Nothing to Change Your Life (2007). According to this report, Cottrell advises us “to ditch endless ‘to do’ lists, constant streams of emails, and an increasingly 24/7 culture.” We can create a space for silence and reflection “by binning instant tea and coffee in favour of traditional methods …, appointing a ‘happy hour’ when all televisions and radios in the house are switched off, baking bread, or simply enjoying a lengthy lie-in.”

Well, with two (soon three) young kids in the house, I certainly haven’t enjoyed “a lengthy lie-in” in a good few years. But I think these are splendid proposals. The most refreshing and therapeutic parts of my day include my two cups of morning espresso and my afternoon pot of tea. And although I love television as much as the next person, there’s nothing more calming than a quiet evening of conversation and reading. Better still is a long drive through the countryside: if you’re lucky, you can go a whole half-hour without seeing a single advertisement – that is, a half-hour in which you are a human rather than a consumer.


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