June 19

Today's quotation:

Guard well your spare moments.  They are like
uncut diamonds.  Discard them and their value
will never be known.  Improve them and they will
become the brightest gems in a useful life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's Meditation:

I often wonder what people like Emerson would say about the way that entertainment has become so important in our cultures these days.  It's not so much that entertainment is negative, but that it's a passive activity for us--once we turn on the TV or go to a movie or go to a sporting event, we're being entertained and we're not using any of our creative powers at all.

It's very easy when we have a free moment or three to turn on the TV and sit and be entertained.  But it would also be nice if we could find a pen and paper and draw something during that free time.  It would be nice if we could write a few lines of poetry, or a quick note to a friend who's far away.  We could read something educational or uplifting, or we could make a nice little gift for someone we care about--or for someone we don't particularly care about, but who really could use a nice little gift.

There are times when we need to relax and be entertained.  But there are other times when we allow ourselves to fall into the trap of being entertained.  We make a choice to pursue passiveness rather than look for something fun and creative to do.  And while there's another trap at the other end of the spectrum--that of always needing to do something and never relaxing--we still have a choice to make almost all the time.  And I'm pretty sure that when we choose not to use our creative abilities in our spare moments, we're not creating bright gems that will sparkle for the rest of our lives. 

Questions to consider:

How do you tend to spend your free moments?

What do you think Emerson means by "the brightest gems in a useful life"?

Where do we learn how to spend our spare moments?  Who are our role models?  Why?

For further thought:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds worth of distance run,
yours is the earth and everything that's in it.

Rudyard Kipling

  

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