Busy Idleness

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (55 BC - 39 AD)
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (55 BC – 39 AD)

“We must curtail the restlessness that a great many men show in wandering through houses and theatres and forums; they thrust themselves into the affairs of others, and always appear to be busily engaged.  If you ask one of these as he comes out of the house: “Where are you going?  What have you in mind?” he will reply to you: “Upon my word, I really do not know; but I shall see some people, I shall do something.” They wander without any plan looking for employment, and they do, not what they have determined to do, but whatever they have stumbled upon.  Their course is is aimless and idle as that of ants crawling among bushes, which idly bustle to the top of a twig and then to the bottom; many men are like these in their way of life, which one may not unjustly call ‘busy idleness’.”

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