Time to live (Published in the Prince Albert Daily Herald March 2005)
Lauralea and I had a talk today about who you "connect" with, on a regular basis. We were looking back at who we had, or rather how we had connected with others lately. She made an interesting observation. That the real connecting we had done over the past month were done with people who had time to connect.
They had, or at least appeared to have had time just to set a spell. Didn't have to plan the get together days in advance. Didn't have them thinking where else they needed to be, as they sat across from us visiting. Their only agenda, was hanging out, checking up, sharing themselves and their time, with the likes of us.
Nope, most of us would rather have a full day ahead of us, with a full list of people to see and meet with. Makes us look important, valuable, significant.
We create these busy illusions of importance for ourselves, because un-busyness would be a sign of... unimportance? laziness? friendlessness?
Or, maybe the busyness keeps us from thinking things too deeply or feeling emotions too significantly. Maybe it's like human autopilot or something. Keeps the wheels moving, so we don't have to.
But I do know that we are busy people
Sally Morganthaler, in an interview with One Small Barking Dog said:
Truly, our deprioritization of our own offspring is one of the great tragedies of late twentieth century America. The effects are staggering, and I'm not just talking about broken homes. It goes much deeper than that. The cessation of intergenerational narrative is at the core. The exchange of story has been one of the most important roles of family life. But getting involved in that exchange means sacrificing time, listening, and value that our children are actually worth the effort.
We are busy people, and we like it that way, even though we say we don't.
To choose another way may cost us. It may cost us income, perceived significance, being labeled lazy, or worse yet, uneducated.
But maybe this is an area in which we need to be counter cultural. Maybe we need to be an example to our neighbours and friends, and children. That busyness isn't inherently a good thing. That the luxury of time is more precious than the luxury of wealth. And spending time on someone is a huge wonderful extravagance of love.
It's interesting that our reward to come after death, isn't a great gob of cash. It's not wealth untold, or much to my chagrin, a Wendy's hamburger. It is something called Eternal Life. A great, never-ending gob of, time.
Time, will be the reward. Not because we've been so short of it down here, but because of it's incredible value.
What are we doing with ours.