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Article Review: “Doing Nothing is Something” written by Quindlen, A.

In the article “Doing Nothing is Something”, Anna Quindlen tells that today’s American children are overscheduled as the adults are. Parents do not give their children time for “boredom”. They constantly try to schedule summer vacation in any possible way. So thus, they deprive children of any chance to simply bore at least one week. Contrariwise, Quindlen states that “doing nothing” is not a wasted time because it is the time when people actually used to think. Thus, Quindlen argues that parents bring up children with standard thinking as they deprive them of ability to think that is “doing nothing”.

The author of the article is sure that, from one side, children are deprived of “boredom” because of adult fears that if children don’t do anything, then they will get into trouble. From the other side, Quindlen affirms: “There is also the culture of cutthroat and unquestioning competition that leads even the parents of preschoolers to gab about prestigious colleges without a trace of irony: this suggests that any class in which you do not enroll your first grader will put him at a disadvantage in, say, law school” (Quindlen, 2002). In addition, the author confirms that all activities created for the good of the children are, actually, intended for the parents who are always lack of free time, “all these enrichment activities are for the good of the kid, there is ample evidence that they are really for the convenience of parents with way too little leisure time of their own” (Quindlen, 2002).

In some point, Anna Quindlen is right. The matter is we have forgotten how to rest. Indeed, summer is the time when children can be freed from the textbooks and “organized day”. However, modern parents do not know what the rest is. To rest for them is another kind of work. Why? Because they never give up from their problems, thoughts, work. That’s just the trouble! They have lost the skills to be «here and at the moment», to live rather with those things that they have than with the things about which they always think and are afraid of.

Only if we make us to go back to the present, we have a chance to relax, come closer to the actual reality, feel the free breath of our life, and gain strength. Unfortunately, the constant nervous condition of our mind has become habitual «reality» for many of us. So, we need to learn again how to do nothing that is to look around, to peer, to observe, and do not think that we waste time. We should learn to live like every living being lives under the sun – rationally, naturally, and reasonable.

Works Cited

  • Quindlen, A. (2002). Doing Nothing is Something. Newsweek. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
July 9, 2012Tags: ,