LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

An Idle Mind is an Evil Mind

Who said this? I do not have the slightest idea who coined this phrase.  This phrase is not entirely factual. One must consider what is being contemplated in an idle mind. After all, the mind is never completely at rest-not even when we are asleep. When one considers the idle time that many of our people have, the question of the best use of this time comes to mind.

There have always been times in our history when people of all races have had time on their hands. When we were slaves, there were the times between crops when there was a lot of idle time. This was due to an almost non-existent social life. I read somewhere that shucking corn and shelling peas were considered forms of entertainment. In 1865, slavery was officially abolished and people were no longer obligated to work on plantations. This gave many people additional idle time.  The infrastructure of many of the plantations were destroyed or seriously damaged during the Civil War, and those who worked them were suddenly idle. The same state of affairs awaited poor whites who traditionally worked on plantations. Many Negroes fled the plantations and joined the Union armies or simply followed the armies. After the conflict was over, these were additional folks with nothing to do.  

Fast forward to 1929 thru 1933. This was the era of the Great depression.  Millions of people of all races were suddenly out of work, broke, homeless and with a lot of idle time. Many could not handle the situation and committed suicide.  President Roosevelt put together several public works projects, such as dams, roads and pipeline project, to put the people back to work. 

Look around today. See all of the people wandering aimlessly about, with seemingly nothing to do-just idling along.  What should the people who have all of this free time on their hands be doing?  Should they be sitting around cooking up all kinds of schemes about how to get by without working? Entirely too many are sitting around planning robberies, home invasions and carjacking. Others are sitting around thinking about absolutely nothing. This would be a perfect time to step back and reflect on what is taking place in one’s life. Why waste all of this precious time thinking about things that will in no way enhance your life, home, community and nation? It is said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Time is just as priceless. Once it passes, you can never replace it.   Take some time to read some good books-books that challenge your mind and make you think. Change the television channel from BET to the Discovery, History, Cspan or Public Television station.  Put down the Game boy, Cell phone, I pod, and CD player and pick up a book or newspaper.  Go to the library, rather than a basketball court.  Bounce an idea off your friends, rather than a basketball.  It is foolish to waste something as precious as time. Use it to its utmost.

________________________________Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
For reprint permission contact:
L.C. Thornton at


September 24, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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