Pleasures of “Not”

Ordinarily, use of or reference to the negative sounds, well, negative.

It’s especially unsuitable, unfitting and in-ah-ppropriate in the contemporary world that’s otherwise sunny with clear, blue skies.

But, might there not (oops) be merit to the negative? If only in limited contexts and under unusually peculiar circumstances?

You cannot, of course, say “No” or otherwise argue with the above. For to do so places one squarely in the camp no one wishes to vacation at.

Let’s consider a couple of examples.

Not working is better than working. Isn’t it? Work is work and that’s all there is to it. If it were fun, wouldn’t we call it such? Bribery is involved, after all.

This isn’t an argument for the virtues of being destitute. Instead, it’s an assertion made from a position of financial privilege.

Not exercising is more fun than exercising. If there is nothing else – and there most assuredly is – exercise is boring. Admit it.

To relieve exercise boredom, one willingly and willfully exposes oneself to an endless stream of infomercials on the gym’s TVs, really, really bad music videos piped-in on the same device and the attire of either the desperately self-unaware or narcissists who spend more time gazing into wall-lined mirrors than pumping iron.

Not having to read and grade student papers and tests is way, way better than reading and grading them. All those errors. And committed by, of all people, students.

Sure, you miss out on reading the really good ones by the really bright ones. But it’s a sacrifice worth making knowing that one doesn’t go to the hospital in order to visit healthy people.

Not composing annual self-evaluations and not having to read those written by others and then evaluate them is far, far more rewarding than engaging in the composition exercise.

Maybe there’s merit to the negative. However limited.

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