To do: Nothing

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Don’t feel guilty about it.  Since ages, society has conditioned us to be competitive, a doer, go getter, or a ‘die hard person’. There is a strong preconceived notion that the one who is workaholic is a worthwhile being. The one who takes the least vacation breaks or no breaks at all, which is even better, is the most trusted employee. Just go a layer deeper beneath the ‘skin’ of these so called workaholics and you will find an unhappy, desperate person trying hard to attach his or her identity with the work they do. Such an attitude is a trap. Self identification with anything external,  however holy it might seem, is a trap. It is a trap to your freedom of growth.  What I mean by “to do : nothing”  is to do absolutely nothing. Not even partying or picnicking with friends or family. I mean to say, by doing nothing, you are spending time with YOUR SELF – The center of your universe. Unless You are conscious and healthy you cannot relate or respond to all that is around you, including your most loved ones. It’s extremely important to allot a ‘do nothing’  time for yourself and spend quality time with you and yourself. Strictly between you and yourself. You may do whatever you wish… sing, paint, listen to music, read and reflect upon a book, enjoy the nature, or anything or ‘nothing’ that cleanses your inner being and space of all the ego and emotional rust and dust that got collected during the course of the week. The more often you clean your inner self, the more neat and healthy you are, inwardly, which is the pivotal point of all your outward activities.

“We join spokes together in a wheel, 
but it is the center hole 
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot, 
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house, 
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being, 
but non-being is what we use.”

– Lao Tzu

I just took some time off my ‘To-do-nothing day’ to post this blog. Rest of the day is going to be me, myself, and Beethoven’s music.

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LIKES AND FOLLOWERS – How much do they matter?

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The answer depends on the purpose of your blog. People blog for many reasons.  I at least see three categories of bloggers on a broad basis. First is the business community of bloggers who want business from their blogs. For the business bloggers, number of likes and followers is a very important matter. Business always measures its success in numbers  and so they have well tested tricks and technics to bring in the necessary traffic to their blog pages. It’s purely technical for them. The second category is of those people who come here for fun and time pass. I assume that they really don’t  bother much about the number of likes and followers their blogs can fetch. And finally, the third category is of people who blog for the love of language and sharing. I include myself in this category. It is this section of the blogging community that gets very sensitive and vulnerable to this number game. We come here for some quality time and interaction, but eventually are lured by the glittering numbers of likes and follows, get addicted to it, and when the numbers dip, we begin to question our own ability to write.  I understand that this addiction is stronger than the addiction for getting likes on our facebook profile photos, because here the like and follow is for our head and heart,  something much more dear and precious than our appearance. If you belong to this sub community of bloggers who are suffering from the number problem, you need to seriously consider this question – How  much does all these likes and follows really matter ? Of course , it is nice to have a big number of likes and followers, but should this be the measuring scale of your blogging talent ?

This category of bloggers seek meaningful interaction. Meaningful interaction is a thing of quality. If you try to measure quality with a set of quantitative tools like the Stats page provided by WordPress , then you will be grossly misled. It really amuses me when someone follows my blog, but does not  ‘like’ the particular post which made him/her to press the follow button, and then never ever show up again, similar to those who send friend requests in facebook and then never interact once their request is accepted. I can even understand those who just ‘like’ someone’s post and move on, but what about those who follow you and then vanish into silence? If you notice, majority of such people will be having huge following and their aim is just to get your attention hoping you would reciprocate their ‘following’ by following them in return. These are business people doing their business, that is all. Such ‘followers’ will not add any value to your blogging experience. Those who want quality interaction should ‘count’ only on those people who comment on your posts, who share, appreciate or constructively criticize the ideas of your posts. That is your true community. What matters to quality seeking bloggers are interaction and the depth of interaction.  And remember, more the quality, less will they be in number. That is the law of nature. It will take time to meet like minded people who are willing to communicate.  So, for now, even if you have just one follower who regularly interacts with you on your blog’s subject matter, be thankful!

Don’t bother about the STAT page. Sometimes the page gives you a trophy, be glad to achieve it, but don’t get carried away. Keep calm and blog on !