Doing Something for Its Own Sake

An art of living, an avenue for joy.

Posted Mar 28, 2018

Chloe Barron
Source: Chloe Barron

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who said she wanted to sign her 7-year-old son up for an activity over spring break that did not involve winning or losing. So, she put him in a theatre class, which he loved. Script versus improvisation. Achieving versus experiencing. Quantitative versus qualitative. Being outside the experience versus inside. Doing something for its own sake is an art of living. While goals can be great for mood, an overly programmed existence can create depression.  One might feel controlled or as if there is no escape from demands, whether they are internal or external.

Unplanned periods can be uplifting because authentic, spontaneous aspects of the self and joyful Aha moments arise. Here is an educational article about the enlivening aspects of theatre participation. Here is a blog that addresses qualitative and quantitative approaches to learning. Integrating visceral with cognitive and planned with improvised, can do much for development as well as happiness.

Here is a passage from the poem Expostulation and Reply written by William Wordsworth.  

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; 

Our meddling intellect 

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— 

We murder to dissect. 

Enough of Science and of Art; 

Close up those barren leaves; 

Come forth, and bring with you a heart 

That watches and receives.