What a strange fascination we have with being busy in America. Success is measured so heavily based on being busy. If you are not being “productive”, you are failing, or lazy.Then again, what are we busy doing in particular?
Being busy in and of itself is not bad. What are we accomplishing during this fervor though? Why are we busy? We seem to always be busy and yet accomplish nothing of value. Is money worth being busy? Do we work to live or live to work?
Socrates warned to “beware the barrenness of a busy life”. It seems so contradictory. If we will stop long enough to ask ourselves what we find most important, I think it becomes clear. Being busy is a drug. While we are high on the adrenaline rush and drive to do more, we forget that we exist to be more.
When those we love, the things we are passionate about, are pushed aside in favor of slaving hands, it is time to take a look at what with which we are so occupied. When our drive to be “successful”, in the eyes of our culture, overtakes what we value as success, we have become too busy. Too busy with meaningless things.
This isn’t a post to endorse laziness by any means. We ought to busy insomuch as there are things we are so passionate about that we have to do them. Our busy work must coincide with our passions. Never to the extent of marooning our values.
I am also a strong advocate of personal reflection. We need time to step back and think. Think about what matters, whether our lives are taking a course we love, whether we need to change something. We need the time to let our minds dream so that our hands may have something to work towards. Idle thoughts produced by the machinations of ceaseless work perpetuate themselves. Our own thoughts grow in moments of stillness.