I've no desire to hang around with a bunch of upper-class delinquents, do twenty minutes' work and then spend the rest of the day loafing about in Paris drinking gallons of champagne and having dozens of moist, pink, highly experienced French peasant girls galloping up and down my - hang on...
Psychologists usually offer three explanations for the failure of group brainstorming. The first is social loafing: in a group, some individuals tend to sit back and let others do the work. The second is production blocking: only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other group members are forced to sit passively. And the third is evaluation apprehension, meaning the fear of looking stupid in front of one's peers.
The sense of it may come with watching a flock of cedar waxwings eating wild grapes in the top of the woods on a November afternoon. Everything they do is leisurely. They pick the grapes with a curious deliberation, comb their feathers, converse in high windy whistles. Now and then one will fly out and back in a sort of dancing flight full of whimsical flutters and turns. They are like farmers loafing in their own fields on Sunday. Though they have no Sundays, their days are full of sabbaths.
I don't resent working long hours. I shouldn't- I'm the one who set up my life this way. I love to work. It's the thing that I get the most satisfaction out of-nd probably what I do best. Not that I don't enjoy days off. I love vacations and loafing around. But I think much of the world has the wrong idea of working. It's one of the good things in life. The feeling of accomplishment is more real and satisfying than finishing a good meal- or looking at one's accumulated wealth.
He felt himself now, as he had often fancied other people, adrift on the stream, and far removed from control of it, a man with no grasp upon circumstances any longer. Old battered man loafing at the doors of public-houses now seemed to be his fellows, and he felt, as he supposed them to feel, a mingling of envy and hatred towards those who passed quickly and certainly to a goal of their own. They, too, saw things very thin and shadowy, and were wafted about by the lightest breath of wind. For the substantial world, with its prospect of avenues leading on and on to the invisible distance, had slipped from him.
in Aristotle... leisure is a far more noble, spiritual goal than work... leisure is pursued solely for its own sake... : the pleasures of music and poetry, ... conversation with friends, and... gratuitous, playful speculation. In Latin, the ultimate good is otium - the opposite is negotium, or gainful work. We have sought too much counsel in the proto-Calvinist work ethic preached by St Paul... during the cessation of work we nurture family, educate, nourish friendships... in loafing, most of our innovations come... the routine of daily work has too often served as... sleep... a refuge from two crucial states - awakedness to the needs of others, and to the transcendent, which only comes... loitering, dallying, tarrying, goofing off.
Francine du Plessix Gray
According to an ancient Chinese legend, one day in the year 240 B.C., Princess Si Ling-chi was sitting under a mulberry tree when a silkworm cocoon fell into her teacup. When she tried to remove it, she noticed that the cocoon had begun to unravel in the hot liquid. She handed the loose end to her maidservant and told her to walk. The servant went out of the princess's chamber, and into the palace courtyard, and through the palace gates, and out of the Forbidden City, and into the countryside a half mile away before the cocoon ran out. (In the West, this legend would slowly mutate over three millennia, until it became the story of a physicist and an apple. Either way, the meanings are the same: great discoveries, whether of silk or of gravity, are always windfalls. They happen to people loafing under trees.)