Pauses Are Inactive Activity

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readMay 2, 2024

How can something that does not move have movement? How can inactivity be active? Is this a contradiction? Or is it a paradox?

A pause, which by definition is inactive, affects activity; an absence of movement affects movement.

For example, during a conversational pause, my facial muscles relax, my voice modulates, and I become calmer. As a result, I am more empathetic, persuasive, and impactful.

With a pause, I can change direction, and my words and thoughts can follow a new direction and trajectory. The passive pause can change the active thought.

And the effect of a pause continues past the pause. The calming effect of a pause will last for minutes, sometimes hours, beyond the pause.

There is also a ripple effect. This moment of inactivity is like a stone dropped in a pond. The ripple metaphor is perfect. The ripples of a pause radiate out, affecting everything. And the ripples continue after the stone has sunk to the bottom of the pool. But a pause is not a stone. It is not something. It is nothing, a nothing that sends ripples outwards, even after the pause has disappeared.

This is odd; it is, after all, a passive and inactive pause. These active results come from something passive and still. These moments are passive and still have consequences that are not passive and still.

Inactivity is active. This is a paradox, not a contradiction — a seeming contradiction that proves to be a truth.



Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.