A couple of weeks ago, me and my team made a pact that each of us will write something every weekend. What we write about depends on what influenced the individual during that week that was worth sharing with the world.
As it turns out, my job is to write software and most of my time during the week is spent on solving technical challenges. Sometimes I can write about these challenges and how I solved them, but sometimes I can’t because we are too early in our journey of building delightchat.io to be able to make our core architecture decisions public.
So what do I write this week that will help folks reading it learn something? Here is a radical thought - what if I write about something that doesn’t have any lesson at all? Does good content always need a theme and an underlying concept that helps somebody do something better?
For those who are not familiar, Seinfeld was a very popular sitcom that aired from the early 90s to the late 90s and it is generally referred to as “a show about nothing”.
This is only a half truth because Seinfeld is actually a very well written show with intricate plots that seem random at first but tie up pretty smoothly towards the end of an episode. The real reason it is a show about nothing is because unlike other sitcoms, the episodes do not have a theme. There is no lesson that the characters learn and evolve as human beings, there is no hidden metaphor that teaches you morals and values of how to navigate life.
The show instead focuses on whimsical scenarios that the characters face as a result of being selfish and inconsiderate. The episodes involve characters getting into conflicts during their day to day interactions with friends and family and how they handle the conflict while learning absolutely nothing in the process.
Despite everything you just read about Seinfeld, this was one of the most if not the most wildly successful sitcoms of all time and every sitcom since Seinfeld tries to embody some aspect of this in their plots. If not in the main plot there are sub plots which are about people screwing up and learning nothing. And this is for the simple reason that the show was very entertaining.
Sometimes all we really need in life is a creative way to pass the time. We are not in a race to constantly better ourselves, become the post possible version of ourselves, learn new things and kill it in life every single day. Some days are just slow and unproductive. And these days matter because otherwise how do we value the days where we do kill it in life?
We are fed this notion that everyone needs to chase a goal in life and every single day must be an attempt to get one step closer to that goal. For the record, I do think we should all have something that drives us and fuels the machine that keeps us going in life, but this doesn’t mean that the machine can’t rest and do nothing once in a while.
The phrase “life is short” is quite popular. It is meant teach folks that every day must be lived to the fullest because we are all going to die someday and the last thing we want is to miss out on anything worthwhile.
But if you think about it, unless everyone has a terminal disease or gets into an accident, the average life expectancy of a person is over 70 years. This seems like a long time to be able to live life to the fullest every single day!
Life is long enough to waste a few days on doing nothing and let the brain and the body cool off and blow some steam. Life is long enough to let a few days pass without learning something new or accomplishing something. Life is long enough to waste time reading this article even though it doesn’t teach you anything.
If you are still reading this despite me telling you that you will learn nothing from this, it means that you were most likely just browsing the internet while looking for nothing in particular. And that’s why I wrote this article - to help you pass the time and remind you that it is completely okay to do so.
If by any chance you are reading this while sipping your morning coffee or having a meal, or in general while performing a pretty uneventful task, I hope I kept you engaged. This is what Seinfeld did for me.