The President Of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has come under fire recently for his behavior during the Association for South East Asian Nations summit. Duterte is a controversial figure for a lot of reasons, but the latest kerfuffle arises from his decision to skip some of the ASEAN meetings and take a “power nap” instead.
When he was questioned about it, the 73-year-old Duterte responded: “What’s wrong with my nap?”
That’s an entirely valid question in my book. ASEAN meetings probably aren’t the most thrilling events, and not every meeting with a group of world leaders is a life and death occasion. Is it really so bad if a world leader plops on a couch and dozes off now and then? I don’t know if President Trump enjoys a refreshing afternoon siesta, but if he doesn’t I think it couldn’t hurt if he adopted that practice. He’d probably feel better about catching up on some shut-eye, and we might even avoid a few of those ill-advised tweets as a result.
Many of us of a certain age brought towels to our full-day kindergarten and, when the teacher told us to roll them out on the floor after lunch, we stretched out and took a short nap on command. I don’t know about you, but I really liked kindergarten, and I think the afternoon nap probably had something to do with it. Unfortunately, we don’t continue with the nap as part of the school routine post-kindergarten, and we certainly don’t build it into the average American workday — as opposed to Latin countries, where the siesta is a key part of the culture, is perfectly timed to coincide with the lull in human biorhythms, and allows for recharge and replenishment.
So President Duterte missed a few meetings? So what? ASEAN will soldier along somehow, despite his brief absence, and as long as he didn’t oversleep to the point of grogginess I bet he felt a lot better — and was a lot easier to deal with — after he woke up, stretched, appreciated his chance to rest, and moved forward with his day.
I repeat: What’s wrong with a nap?