I've recently re-read parts of a book called 'Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World.'
I want to share one facinating point about this book. It gives a very small, but valid justification for why—anyone would use their time to do a somewhat meaningless task or pastime. Example: playing videos games or digging a hole for no reason. Everyone must have their own meaningless pastime.
Below is the excerpt of a conversation between the protag and a friend of his, the 'Colonel.'
(After seeing some town folk digging outside and wondering what they were up to, the Protag now sees the Colonel enter the room)
"I was not able to be here for breakfast," says the old officer. "I had tasks to attend to this morning. I had no time to eat."
"Were you digging the hole?"
"The hole? No, that is nothing I do," answers the Colonel, with a hesitant laugh. "I had business in Town."
The pot is now hot. He ladles out two bowls and sets them on the table. A hearty vegetable chowder with noodles. He blows to cool it before taking a sip.
"Tell me, what is that hole for?" I asked the Colonel.
"Nothing at all," he says, guiding a spoonful of soup to his mouth. "They dig for the sake of digging. So in that sense, it is a very pure hole."
"I don't understand."
It is simple enough. They dig their hole because they want to dig. Nothing more or less."
I think about the pure hole and all it might mean.
"They dig holes from time to time," the Colonel explains. "It is probably for them what chess is to me. It has no special meaning, does not transport them anywhere. All of us dig at our own pure holes. We have nothing to achieve by our activities, nowhere to get to. Is there not something marvelous about this? We hurt no one and no one gets hurt. No victory, no defeat."
"I think I understand."
The old officer finishes one last spoonful of soup.
"Perhaps you do not understand. But our way is proper to us. It is proper, peaceful, and pure. Soon enough, it will begin to make sense to you.
"For many years, I led the life of a soldier. I do not regret that; it was a fine life. The smell of gunsmoke and blood, the flash of sabers, the call of the bugle. I sometimes still think about the drama. Yet I cannot recall what it was that sent us charging into the frey. Honor? Patriotism? A thirst for combat? Hatred? I can only guess.
You are fearful now of losing your mind, as I once feared myself. Let me say, however, that to relinguish you self carries no shame," the Colonel breaks off and searches the air for words. "Lay down your mind and peace will come. A peace deeper than anything you have known."
-Page 317-318, 'Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World'