Michelle Schlaubitz Garcia is the Wellness Coordinator at Family Care Heath Centers in St. Louis, Missouri.
Wake up in the morning, quickly get dressed and have breakfast before heading out, get annoyed by the slow traffic on the highway, finally make it to work a few minutes late, but that’s ok:I don’t have a meeting this morning. Run around the office trying to get as much done today as I can, get home intending to relax after dinner only to realize I have more things to do. Some of them might be nice - catching up with friends or family, for instance, or finishing a book before I have to return it to the library. Others, maybe not so much - cleaning, doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher.
When you ask someone how they are doing, a highly likely response will be “I’m okay, very busy sorry no time to chat,” all slurred into one word. Most of the things keeping us busy are completely human-constructed. Meetings, chores, events, work; these are all human inventions. Which leads me to wonder, why did we invent all these things in the first place? In an attempt to find satisfaction? In our search for happiness? Out of boredom?
If we take the first option, then all of our human-created activities would have come around as a way to achieve greater things, to advance our society and to create a better world. In theory, success leads to satisfaction, but in reality it may also lead to discontent. There is always something better, faster, more innovative, to achieve. Humanity is never satisfied with what we have, always seeking more. Which leads to the second option.
Happiness is a goal most people strive for. Our modern society tells us that happiness can only be reached by climbing to the top of the ladder, being wealthy and having material things. Material wealth can only be achieved by having a successful career. Thus, people dive head-first into their professions, becoming so enveloped in the constant hustle and bustle that they neglect other aspects of their lives, ironically leading to greater unhappiness.
The third and last option is the idea of busyness as the absence of boredom. We have forgotten how to be still. The only way to get anywhere in life is to keep moving. However, there is so much to be learned from stopping and simply reflecting. It is through contemplation that we can get in touch with the magnificent source of life both within us and around us.
Unfortunately, the pace of our society does not allow for much time for contemplation. I find it hard to set aside a certain amount of time each day to reflect. Even when I succeed, there are a million thoughts flying through my head. However, I must not give up the practice of being still, for it is in such a lack of activity that I find a deeper connection to myself and to my Creator. Thus reaching a place of peace and satisfaction I cannot find when I am caught up in human activity. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.
In Their Own Words
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