When Mental Slackness is a Virtue

Whether you’re going away for a week or stealing a day out in the sunshine I heartily recommend taking a moment to read this advice from E.R. Thompson. It’s from The Human Machine (1925)a collection of articles that first appeared in John Bull magazine.

The Holiday Mind

This month thousands of my readers will be having their holidays. I want them to have real holidays.

From the viewpoint of psychology a holiday is more than a mere search for pleasure and amusement : more than a relief from the routine of daily work : more than a renewal of bodily health.

A real holiday is the achievement of a completely care-free mind.

Unless you can realise that, your holiday will not do you very much good.

You go away to get a change of air, a change of scenery, a change of life.

Don’t take a scrap of your everyday life with you. Forget there is such a thing as memory. Cultivate forgetfulness !

Too many people take excess luggage with them in the shape of business and home worries. Believe me, they pay heavily for it.

Once you step into the train forget you ever had any work to do. Forget those unpaid bills ; don’t give a single thought to the worries and difficulties of the week after next.

Give politics a rest. Forget there is such a thing as a newspaper.

Most of us live too much in the future : a few live too much in the past.

Just for once live entirely in the present.

Get back to the days when you were young, when you were content to let others do the worrying for you.

Holiday time is the one time in the year when mental slackness is a virtue.

Delicate machinery is given a holiday periodically, for even steel gets tired.

Give the infinitely delicate machinery of your mind a holiday.

Just for once don’t think, just BE. That is the true holiday mind.