The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

Allison Sodha

One of our Sodha Travelers, Erica, recently sent an interesting article from the site LearnVest. The post, The Best Time Investments You Can Make, mentioned Indians as having the ability to enjoy life's everyday joys:

I love the concept of “La Dolce Far Niente” or “the sweetness of doing nothing,” something the Italians and many other cultures have mastered. Not Americans, though. In America, we don’t feel our time is well spent unless we’re either producing or consuming, says social psychologist Robert V. Levine, author of “A Geography of Time: On Tempo, Culture, and the Pace of Life,” which is a limited (and frankly, stressful) perspective. In other parts of the world, such as India, it’s normal for people to enjoy each others’ company without activity or even conversation. Investing in do-nothing time will help us slow down and experience a different pace of life, in which time’s value is not measured by its productivity.

After reading the article, I sat and thought about this idea of India's culture. At first glance, India can be a scene of chaos: Millions of people, cars, rickshaws, motorcycles, and cows sharing one sacred land; Technology and infrastructure both booming and yet not able to expeditiously meet the needs of the people; Bribery and corruption permeating the society. However, when you look deeper there is an ideology of - dare I say? - contentment. It is also interesting to explore, as India is presently one of the most productive countries in the world. According to the above, do-nothing time is not measured by productivity, but the Indian people have accomplished both.

Tell me, do you believe Indians have mastered the sweetness of doing nothing? What other cultures parallel this philosophy?

Topics: India, Culture

Allison Sodha

Written by Allison Sodha

Sodha Travel was born from my desire to share the beauty of India with the world. Since then, our services have extended to other destinations - but our passion remains the same. To me, traveling is a multifaceted relationship: a relationship with other cultures, a relationship with other people, and ultimately a relationship with our own self.