Following up on my earlier post about 16 resolutions, or thoughts to live by, inspired by this article at Brainpickings.org, 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)
This is why I’m so busy. See, there is just too much interesting stuff to get into out there! 😀