When Omid Safi writes about The Disease of Being Busy, he reaches into the insane world of the early 21st century, where all the time-saving and productivity inventions of the last fifty years have had exactly the reverse of their intended effect.
- eMails have made us more busy than when all we had was letters, or even faxes.
- Mobile phones keep us shackled to work, if we let them – and most of us do, willingly.
- Schedules are packed full, morning-to-night, as if a glimpse of daylight is a sign of weakness.
- Work Hard, Play Hard is seen as more noble than respecting our human need for quiet and mindfulness.
- Kids are homeworked to the hilt, and structured with ” leisure” activities like we’ve forgotten what the word means.
As Safi says,
How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children?
Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?
In his native Arabic, people ask “How is your heart?” when they meet, encouraging thoughts of healing, calm and rejoicing in simply being.
That’s why we’re called human BEINGS, not human DOINGS.