Don’t just do something, stand there!

Doing nothing is a choice. It is as much an action as jumping up and down waving your arms in the air. Depending on the situation, either one might be the correct response.

Knowing when to do nothing is an art form and far harder than springing into action. Examples of when it is generally a good idea to do nothing include: a child making a (non-dangerous) mistake and not intervening, they’ll never learn otherwise; when something or someone has pissed you off and you want to act, far better to cool off and sleep on it and even then it might be best to just drop it; when a friend or loved one has been wronged and you want to right it or offer advice, listen but it’s not your battle; facing down nuclear armageddon, if JFK had ‘just done something’ we might all be glowing in the dark.

On a more personal level, sometimes inaction can lead to progress. Actually I was wondering what to write for this post and couldn’t come up with anything and that’s exactly what made me think of this post. A wise person once said “If you’re sat in a garden, you can try to catch the beautiful butterfly or you can just sit and maybe it will land on your hand for a while.” Wise indeed.

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