What are we busy doing?

Image result for pics of busy ants

It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. 

The question is, “What are we busy about?” 

–  Henry David Thoreau


“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance and success? What if instead, we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”

When was the last time you asked someone how they were and they answered, “I have just spent a whole day, listening, pondering and being still, accepting my life as it is?  Never?

Why is it, that ‘busyness’ equates to significance in our world?  What decisions would you make today, if tomorrow didn’t exist?

Each of us contribute to this busy world, so just for today let’s ask, “What are we busy about?


27 thoughts on “What are we busy doing?

  1. Wow Karen. Wonderful question. I don’t know.

    Writing in the first century, Seneca was startled by how little people seemed to value their lives as they were living them—how busy, terribly busy, everyone seemed to be, mortal in their fears, immortal in their desires and wasteful of their time. He noticed how even wealthy people hustled their lives along, ruing their fortune, anticipating a time in the future when they would rest. “People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy,” he observed in “On the Shortness of Life”, perhaps the very first time-management self-help book. Time on Earth may be uncertain and fleeting, but nearly everyone has enough of it to take some deep breaths, think deep thoughts and smell some roses, deeply. “Life is long if you know how to use it,” he counselled.

    Nearly 2,000 years later, de Grazia offered similar advice. Modern life, that leisure-squandering, money-hoarding, grindstone-nosing, frippery-buying business, left him exasperated. He saw that everyone everywhere was running, running, running, but to where? For what? People were trading their time for all sorts of things, but was the exchange worth it? He closed his 1962 tome, “Of Time, Work and Leisure”, with a prescription:

    Lean back under a tree, put your arms behind your head, wonder at the pass we’ve come to, smile and remember that the beginnings and ends of man’s every great enterprise are untidy.

    ~ “Why is everyone so busy” (The Economist, December 20, 2014)

    1. Wow! Even after receiving all that wisdom and knowledge many years ago, we are still not listening! I heard somewhere the other day that we live our life according to our breath. If we breathe shallow short breaths, we live that way. But if we breathe long deep slow breaths, it creates space and more time in our day! Happy breathing 🙏🏻

  2. It’s like when the person serving you at the grocery store asks, ‘so what have you been doing today?’ and you have to scramble around to find fictitious busy things to replace your honest answer which is ‘nothing’!

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