Don’t Stay Idle:
You must have heard the phrase “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. A person’s mind cannot really be idle- it is always busy. But an ideal person uses his mind to think up evil things while a busy person has no time to dwell on anything but his work.
A person who has no work to do becomes lazy. He starts thinking of an easy, quick way of making a living. He might start stealing and becoming a criminal because he does not like to do hard, honest work.
Goethe wrote, “nature knows no pause and attaches a curse upon inaction.” Indeed, it is a curse to remain idle. We must all make every effort to keep ourselves occupied. The more a person works, the more he progresses.
A man was once given a small piece of land. It was in the midst of a vast, arid wasteland. But he was happy to get this land and decided to work on it. He built a small wooden shack next to which he made a kitchen garden. He planted some wheat and pulses in the garden to help him survive, but since the surrounding areas were dry he had to fetch water from a distant stream. The man would wake up very early each morning and tend his kitchen garden.
As the days went by, the plants needed more water; the man realized that he could not fetch enough water from the stream and that he must dig a well near his garden. It took many days of hard work to dig the well. At last, a day came when he touched the water level. The farmer was so happy that he took a bath in the water even though it was muddy. He dug deeper and soon he had clear, fresh water for himself and his land.
Once the well was made, the farmer was able to cultivate more land. He bought the adjoining land and became a wealthy and highly respected farmer. As time passed he built a high house and in a showcase, he kept a bucket, a rope, a shovel and the imprint of his hands for these were the basis of his success.
The wealthy farmer employed many workers but this did not mean that he sat idle. He kept improving his farm. He bought farm machinery and learned how to use it and how to repair it in case it went out of order. Then he started a dairy farm and followed this up by breeding cattle. And all the while he read books on agriculture, dairy farming, machinery repair, and many other subjects. He was happy to be busy and he prospered.
By keeping our minds busy we develop and improve. A busy person is a happy person. Idleness, on the other hand, makes a person indolent, moody, and bored.
A person who knows the value of being busy also knows the value of time. He does not waste his time in gossip. He does not spend his spare time daydreaming. Instead, he utilizes his time in fruitful occupations. Even if he is traveling in a bus, he uses his time to read a book or study human behavior or think about his work. There was once a man who read all the volumes of Churchill’s History of Mankind while commuting on a bus from his home to the office.
You can achieve marvels if you know how to usefully employ your time. If you do not have any studies to do, look around for something else to do. Sports and games are very good because they keep your mind alert. Having a hobby is one of the best ways of using your spare time. Other ways of keeping busy are cleaning your almirah or bicycle, removing the weeds from your garden, to learn to cook a dish- almost any activity is worthwhile if you find it interesting.