Resolution #2

Following up on my earlier post about 16 resolutions, or thoughts to live by, inspired by this article at, here is the second thought. It is by SØREN KIERKEGAARD, and says RESIST ABSENTMINDED BUSYNESS

He writes : “Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.

He also says “The unhappy person is one who has his ideal, the content of his life, the fullness of his consciousness, the essence of his being, in some manner outside of himself. The unhappy man is always absent from himself, never present to himself. But one can be absent, obviously, either in the past or in the future. This adequately circumscribes the entire territory of the unhappy consciousness.  The unhappy one is absent… It is only the person who is present to himself that is happy.”

Thus one definitely makes me think! I have bought into our culture of hard work, and if you are constantly busy you are working very hard, and this is very good, right?  But, if you never sit still, are you ever present to yourself? Are you constantly so distracted that you never have to look at yourself, never have to be with yourself, never have to think about who you are and what is within?

I have had a very busy life working and raising a family. I signed up for children very much on purpose, and I wanted to devote as much of myself and I could to them. I also signed up on purpose for a demanding profession. But, as the years went by I started feeling more overwhelmed and buffeted by forces outside myself. Then, I discovered Buddhism and meditation and slowly, I started to sense the deep quiet under the waves and storms.

This is certainly not to say I have it all together! I’m very far from that, but I finally have some awareness of the deeper stillness. I think this is a lot of what biking has come to mean for me. When I get out of time on the rural roads, it’s just me, the outdoors, and the beauty around me. I can’t busy myself with a 1000 other things and I just have to be.

I think what this resolution is saying is be careful of being so busy. Being constantly busy is not a path to happiness. Take time to nurture yourself and to be with yourself, because that is what you need.


Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855)

He is considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He was a social critic, poet, theologian, and religious author. There is a Wikipedia article here, and a lot more links on Google.

This is why I’m so busy. See, there is just too much interesting stuff to get into out there! 😀

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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9 Responses to Resolution #2

  1. ME BE in Panama says:

    This man died at an age much younger than I was when I only started to wrap my brain around the challenging concepts he writes about. I found holistic therapies such as aromatherapy, MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction), yoga, Reiki, and mediation extremely helpful ways to combat compassion fatigue and life stress.


    • Compassion fatigue? I haven’t heard that term but I certainly know what you are talking about. I just quit – painted houses, wrote computer software, did something else until I felt able to function again. Buddhist practice helped a lot, at least slowed down the rate of burnout.


  2. I think this is very true, Kris. We often make ourselves so busy that we don’t have to think or reflect on our inner spirit or nature’s spirit. I see it often in people as they rush to work in the mornings or just out and about shopping. People in their own little world and not seeing each other’s humanity.


    • Yes indeed, and I think we all get caught up in that. That’s something that seems a bit different here. People can sit in their hammock and no one things they are wasting time. Relaxing is allowed and encouraged.


  3. Excellent post, Kris. My meditation time is when I rake my leaves and mangoes that fall. I really get into the quietness and repetitive motion of the rake. It may sound really strange, but it works for me. 🙂


  4. Sunni Morris says:

    There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there to explore and most of us are too busy to delve deep enough to see it. Interesting post.


  5. Pingback: Resolution #5 – Make Room for “Fruitful Monotony” | The Panama Adventure

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