One common element among many religions/philosophies out there is the requirement for action. This requirement comes in many forms – some note actions from which one must abstain and others list actions one must specifically perform. Aside from Taoism, which espouses the concept of wu-wei (simplified – action through non-action), I don’t know of any other paths that encourage people not to act.
(If anyone does, please, speak up! I’d love to learn something new!)
There’s a colloquial definition of insanity that equates to doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I think this is true of inaction as well – people rail against the world and want it to be a better place, or cry out about bad things happening to good people, or say that we’re becoming more callow, or more self-centered, or whatever…but they don’t DO anything about it. They sit and complain…and complain…and complain. It makes me wonder who actually is closer to fitting that definition of insanity – the people that ACT in the same way over and over expecting different results, or the people that DON’T ACT but expect things to magically get better.
Most of you know this, but it bears repeating from time to time: there is no magic pill, no silver bullet, no particular swish-and-flick of a wand topped with a crystal (which I’ve actually never understood anyway, but that is a topic for another post) that will change anything without being accompanied by action. By acting, we put forth our desire to shape events, to modify our surroundings. By acting, we say to the world “This is what I want to happen, and I am willing to do something about it.” By acting, we no longer pay lip service; we show that we mean what we believe.
Stagnancy is not an option if we want to improve. To change the world, to push the Universe, we must act.
Writing Prompts/Food for Thought:
- What action does your religious/philosophical path require of you?
- Are there situations in which you are compelled to act in a particular way? Why or why not?