By Darrell Cake
I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a moment to think…”
What a thing to admit to. In effect you are admitting that you have been running around unconscious, without thinking, or without even knowing why you are running around.
Have you asked anyone lately, “how are you,” and received the answer – “I’m very busy.”
One woman I asked this of gave me this reply, along with an accusing stare which said:
“I’m very busy – aren’t you?”
Almost as if to say, “If you were REALLY busy you wouldn’t have time to ask such a question.”
I asked a man: “How are you?”
The answer was the same, but this time the stare was of contempt and said: “I’m far to busy to talk to someone like you.”
And so it goes on. Everyone these days is so busy. Busy with what? All sorts of things. Maybe its connected to the old saying… “The devil finds work for idle hands.”
Our western societies are so concerned with doing. Everyone’s doing something. If you’re not doing anything, then its like you don’t exist.
In our western society – you are what you do. Your very reason for existence is tied to what you do.
Your self esteem, everything, is not who you are but what you are.
But I thought we were meant to be human BEINGS. Perhaps it would be more accurate if we called ourselves human DOINGS.
I know survival is important. A starving man with a starving family might not be able to afford the time for contemplation. But there are so many people who, having met their survival needs and comfort levels, still go on being busy.
They are so addicted to being busy that they don’t know how to stop.
Being busy in our society is the biggest addiction of all. Being busy means:
* You don’t have any self doubt, as there is no time for self-examination.
* You don’t have to feel, because you don’t have time.
* You have a feeling of importance (ego).
There are plenty of positive reinforcements from society from being busy. Far more than from doing drugs or alcohol. Far less judgment. If you are busy you are important. A valued member of the community. (Not like those dole-bludgeing surfers).
And personally, there are a lot of benefits as well.
As long as you stay busy, you never have to confront your demons – death, sickness, grief. All the unpleasant stuff we try desperately to run away from but which gets us all in the end.
That’s why some people say that when they found out they had cancer or a life-threatening illness, it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them.
It kicked them out of denial into reality. And if there are two things humans are good at, it is:
1. The denial of what is and;
2. The belief in what doesn’t exist.
Either we grow up ourselves, stop denying reality and believing in fairy tales (once upon a time…), or life does it for us. With many of us it takes a crisis to make the transition. A crisis that makes us STOP.
So we should be grateful for a crisis – it gives us the opportunity to become aware.
Otherwise, we go to the grave unaware of what life was all about.
And that would indeed be a tragedy.
Or to quote T.S. Elliot: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”