Yesterday I blogged about doing less as a New Year’s resolution for 2015, as an antidote to the overscheduled American lifestyle.
How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?
Like many other thoughtful, observant people, he writes about technology can actually accelerate our pace and the notion that we should be busy 24/7, rather than freeing us up.
Then he takes an unexpected turn that really speaks to me. He contrasts being busy with real human connection and self reflection.
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.
I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.
Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.
Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
I don’t want to race through life, skimming from one email to the next, never pausing to really connect with the people I love — or the people I might love if I give our relationship the time to blossom. I think the meaning of life is loving and being loved, and that deserves priority in my scheduling, not the scraps that are left after all the tasks and errands get done.
If you agree, please read The Disease of Being Busy. And next time I see you, let’s talk about our hearts.
Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”