Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The beauty of doing nothing

In Italy, Gilbert learns about "bel far niente" - the beauty of doing nothing. She points out that it is something Americans have a hard time with, and she particularly, coming from a line of Puritan farmers, has a difficulty just doing nothing. Deriving pleasure from doing nothing is a concept that is lost on most Americans.

The Puritan work ethic is still alive and well in New England. People are always on their way to doing something else. Relaxing is rare, although looking for entertainment seems to be okay, as long as you are not officially at work. You should not have fun at work. Work should not be entertaining.

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