Monday, May 30, 2005

been busy

“I’ve been busy.” How often is this my default response to “How are you?”? How often do we hear this in the midst of our daily conversations? Author Wayne Muller in his book “Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives” writes, “We say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a mark of real character. The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others. To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find time for the sunset (or even to know that the sun has set at all), to whiz through our obligations without time for a single, mindful breath, this has become the model of a successful life.”

“The press of busyness is like a charm,”
Kierkegaard wrote.
“Its power swells…
it reaches out seeking always
to lay hold of ever-younger victim…”

Perhaps the Ancient Chinese have long had insight into this that the West has yet to discover. The ancient Chinese pictograph for the word busy is made up of the symbols/pictures heart and killing.

The understood that as we become busier and busier in the world around us, our hearts are prone to experience death – lifelessness.

How's your heart?


Jenni said...
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Lee said...

I was recently reading a leadership book and it made the comparison between eastern and western ways of thinking. They used the illustration of a person walking down a hall way and looking into another's office or cubical and seeing them sitting there in a chair "doing nothing" no typeing, writing, talking on the phone etc, just sitting there with eyes closed.

In our western world we would assume this person to merely be day dreaming, dozing, wasting time, lofing, etc... Yet, in an eastern culture, they would be assumed to be in deep contemplative thought. Thought that would give rise to innovative ideas, strength, energy and creativity... In this case, the less was considered more.

We typically, peer into the office of another...and if there busy at work, typing, phoning, writing, frantically moving about their desk...we assume they are busy, significant and on the move upward. In eastern cultures, this would be considered more of the "rat race" -- lots of churning in the wheel, lots of noise, but in the end - not much movement - only perceived...

i thought this was interesting. How often do I equate my "movement" to success and significance? Too much...