“Wasting time” means wasting energy doing something again and again that didn’t work well the first time; it can mean demanding that someone pays attention to you whether they want to hear from your or not; it can mean trying to convince a stubborn person that they need to change; it can mean wanting to change everyone but your self, especially if it is really you who are causing all the trauma and tumult… There are lots of ways of using up time and energy uselessly.
But even though you might not seem to be doing anything, time spent feeling love is not a waste of time. Listening to the air, just the quiet air, isn’t wasting time either. Paying attention to your breathing, slowing your breaths and deepening them, and just enjoying being is never a waste of time. Learning a new skill isn’t a waste, either. Learning how to do something new doesn’t waste time. And working to become a better person never wastes time.
Working at getting the new and latest Thing, whatever it is, might be a wast of time, especially if that Thing has your interest for a day, a week, a month, and then that’s it. Far better to work for something very precious, something that lasts, such as deep friendships, loving connections, peace of mind, and new ideas, Loving people works much better than loving things: things aren’t alive, and people are.
When someone does something bad to you very often you want to do the same bad thing back to them, or even worse to make them feel worse than you do. This is hardly surprising if you have been raised by being punished when you have done bad things, because you think that hurting someone is supposed to change him, or make him understand. But it doesn’t always work. Hurting someone because he hurts you does not automatically make him understand what he has done, how you feel, or what else he might have done better. If you need to stop someone from hitting or hurting you, then restraining him is a very good idea. But then you could ask him why he did it and find out some other way for him to get what he wants. People who hurt other people usually are hurting a lot themselves. But when you just punish people you don’t really teach them anything, except that that hurt is supposed to be returned for hurt, and it just makes everyone hurt more everywhere.
Memorial day is not a day to enjoy so much as it is to remember, and then celebrate the good lives that the fallen had before they were killed. It is a day to count the costs of what we have, and perhaps to resolve to do things differently. If we get angry at little things, and want to fight people, it’s time to remember that fighting others can lead to the legalized, wholesale murder known as war. If we think other people are less that we are, that can make us think that war is the way to treat them. If we think we have the only best, most correct, and truest idea about reality, and hate anyone that disagrees with us, we are saying we don’t care if war breaks out. If we think that making others do what we want, without understanding them, without seeing their point of view, is the way to do things, we can make war then too. And war is good for so little! It kills people, estranges them, creates broken families and tremendous grief all around. It’s time for us to change how we react to things and people we don’t like, and think: “How can I create a good peace that helps us all?“