Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The 'Busy' Trap

Hat-tip to annecourager on Facebook.  This is from NYTimes by Tim Kreider: The Busy Trap

Some quotes:

"[I]t isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs  who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence."

"Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s  make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications."
 ~~
"Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. They come home at the end of the day as tired as grown-ups."
 ~~
"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day".

8 comments:

  1. I sometimes think that busyiness is a way of avoiding the real work of forming lasting and important relationships. Also, isn't busyness just another word for consumption? Most people I know who are busy, and more importantly whose kids are busy, are so because they've bought experiences...extra classes, tuition, music, dinner with friends, theatre, cinema. I'm not syaing these experiences are bad things, but it seems they're no longer treats, to do once in a blue moon. I know very few people who say, "sorry, I'm so busy taking my kids to the park, I can't possibly come on that drive a racing car around Silverstone experience."

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    1. It's as if we need to justify our existence by excessive doing.

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  2. The last quote reminds of similar things our interim pastor keeps saying from the pulpit "Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day".

    I think what Dulce Domum says is right "I sometimes think that busyness is a way of avoiding the real work of forming lasting and important relationships." The older I get the more I find myself pulling away from unnecessary busyness.

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    1. Exactly...just read a great book that really does a good job with the concepts of free will and obedience - even though the story was primarily about fragile-X syndrome.

      The Oak Leaves - the author's name is Maureen something... :)

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  3. I was reminded of this song which is apparently by someone called 'Evie':

    Be still and know that I am God
    I am right here by your side.
    Be still and know that I am God
    and in My love abide.

    So few of you stop to hear the birds
    stop to smell the fragrance in the air.
    My Kingdom is within you
    Be still and find me there
    Be still and I'll meet you there.

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  4. Oh this is SO right on! I don't think people can handle stillness and quiet. I also think the devil wants it so people don't have to stop and think about their empty lives and long for the Saviour. And he would also like to keep Christians so busy that they don't take time for prayer and Bible reading.

    Great post!

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    1. Lol, I think sometimes we remember that work was God's punishment ('by the sweat of your brow') and also how much God loves rest!

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