Frivol Today!

“Why are you doing that?” “What’s that for?”

Modern society makes us captives of teleology. That is, we think we should be acting for a reason and aiming toward a goal. We are supposed to be living purpose driven lives and everything in it should be animated by some end, great or small.

But some of the best moments of life have no purpose but themselves. When children are playing, they are playing to play. When we become adults and take time to play, a vague guilt trails after us as though we should not be spending our time on something “frivolous.” But beauty and joy and simple fun are not frivolous – they are among the most beautiful aspects of life.

The pandemic has given people time that they did not expect. Many of us have felt guilt for using it to watch interesting shows, read unexpected books, or play games online. A life of frivolous things is certainly wasted, but a life without them is narrow and pinched. Daydream alongside doing. Sometimes it is healthy, normal – human – to do nothing, and to do it well. Frivol a little today!

About the Author
Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.
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