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Small philosophy for Pauline

Posted by Dorothy on 6/15/04 at 10:07 (153047)

Pauline -
You were writing to Vickie and part of your post caught my eye.
Just a small philosophical point: you said, 'doing nothing will get you nothing', but sometimes doing 'nothing' will 'get you' avoidance of a 'something' that is harmful, undesirable, no better than what is known, and a variety of other possibilities. Sometimes what seems to be 'doing nothing' turned out to be very wise, when looked at in hindsight. 'Doing nothing' can either be the result of not having a clear path or clear intention in mind (yet) or of deliberately deciding to do 'nothing'.
Although I haven't followed your exchange with Vickie, that comment did catch my eye - because I think we all need to realize that 'doing nothing' is actually 'doing something'. There is really no such thing as 'doing nothing.' Taking DECISIVE action can often feel much better than waiting; taking decisive action can have anti-depressive affects in and of itself - but the differences in OUTCOME between 'doing nothing' and 'doing something' may be more mixed than we think.

Having made that small point, I want to add that I know nothing about your exchange with Vickie and do not mean to say anything to Vickie about whatever her concern is or your comments about her concern.

Re: Small philosophy for Pauline

Kathy G on 6/15/04 at 10:45 (153060)

Interesting, Dorothy. It probably relates to one's personality type. Some people are totally unable to 'do nothing' and do so much that they end up causing themselves more harm than good. I think I learned that, as you say, 'doing nothing' is in fact 'doing something' when I grew up with a mother with serious depression problems. Yes, she saw the doctor and she took her meds, but sometimes, all I could do was be there for her and wait the period of depression out. It made me, a person who in most instances, is a take-charge, decisive personality, into a person who realized that sometimes you need to 'wait and see' and often no action is the best course of action.

The big problem is trying to decide in each situation which way to react. One would hope that this is one area where fifty-four years of life has given me the wisdom to know the difference but I still mess it up on occasion! Maybe by the time I'm ninety-four, I'll get it right!

By the way, Pauline, this is not meant as a criticism of anything you wrote as I do agree that Vickie should go back to the doctor. It is an interesting observation by Dorothy that deserved comment, I believe.

Re: "What Loretta Said".....the final chapter

marie on 6/15/04 at 11:19 (153071)

In reading the posts above I am reminded of the film 'THE MIGHTY' based on the book 'FREAK THE MIGHTY'. If you haven't seen the film or read the book by all means do. It's one of those cult types of movies that most if not all teachers know about. You probably didn't hear about in the papers but it is well known. The actors are famous. Type in either title and you find hundreds of web sites about the story. The film seems silly at first but draws you in until you are hooked. I share the film every year in my high school classes as it is easily disected for artistic and editing qualities as an intro for film making. I had a very difficult group of juniors this year who of course pooh poohed the film and just wanted to sleep and play cards during the film. I explain it's one of the best films ever made in this country and share the awards it's won and its cult status. They were too cool to watch. They called the film 'gay' and insulted it for the first 25 minutes. I never say or comment on their criticisms. On the second day I gave the kids the option of playing cards and games instead of finishing the film....even the worst kids opted for the movie.

Towards the end Max is at the bus stop when Loretta sits down next to him. She asks 'Whatcha' been up to kid?' Max responds 'Nothin'. Just before she gets on the bus she responds. 'Nothin' is a drag kid. Think about it'. You'll have to rent the film or read the book to understand why this is so important and why 'nothin' is a real drag.'

best wishes marie

Re: Small philosophy for Pauline

Dorothy on 6/15/04 at 14:45 (153104)

I think I take your point, but I think it is different from the one I was making. I think my fundamental point was that there is no such thing as 'doing nothing'. Doing nothing is an illusion. It is akin to the fact that not making a decision IS making a decision.
Well, I'll leave it alone - but thanks for indulging me and engaging with me in this. It's always nice to 'talk' with you, Kathy G.

Re: "What Loretta Said".....the final chapter

Kathy G on 6/16/04 at 09:47 (153163)

Since I totally missed Dorothy's point, I hope I understand the movie or the book, which ever I can find! Thanks, Marie, for the tip. You've peaked my curiosity!

Re: Small philosophy for Pauline

john h on 6/16/04 at 10:19 (153165)

I enjoy these little philosophical discussions which are sort of meaningless. My take is 'doing nothing' is 'doing something' since you have made the concious decision to 'do nothing'. In a battlefield situation the Commander may make the decision to do nothing (just stay put).This then becomes his strategy of doing nothing. This all reminds me of the Seinfield episode where they were going to wrte a TV progam about 'Nothing'. George's idea of course.