Quotes for
the Journey:

Busyness



Who remembers when we used to
rest on Sunday instead of Monday?

Kin Hubbard

We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve.  We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift, our personal association, which means so much to them, we give grudgingly.       -Mark Twain
   

The really idle person gets nowhere.  The perpetually busy person does not get much further.       -Heneage Ogilvie

   

If work and leisure are soon to be subordinated to this one utopian principle--absolute busyness--then utopia and melancholy will come to coincide: an age without conflict will dawn, perpetually busy--and without consciousness.       -Gunther Grass

   

A lot of our "busyness" is a way for us to avoid thinking about what is
most important.  There's a difference between being busy and being productive.        -Kristen Lippincott

   

Life lived amidst tension and busyness needs leisure.   Leisure that recreates and renews.  Leisure should be a time to think new thoughts, not ponder old ills.       -C. Neil Strait

    

Being busy does not always mean real work.  The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.  Seeming to do is not doing.      -Thomas Alva Edison

May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.       -Thomas Jefferson

   

The world is full of men and women who work too much, sleep too little, hardly ever exercise, eat poorly, and are always struggling or failing to find adequate time with their families.  We are in a perpetual hurry--constantly rushing from one activity to another, with little understanding of where all this activity is leading us. . . . The world has gone and got itself in an awful rush, to whose benefit I do not know.  We are too busy for our own good.  We need to slow down.  Our lifestyles are destroying us. The worst part is, we are rushing east in search of a sunset.       -Matthew Kelly

   
Modern people are frantically trying to earn enough to buy things they're too busy to enjoy.     -Frank A. Clark
  
If you are too busy to develop your talents, you are too busy.       -Julia Cameron
   
Rabindranath Tagore writes that the song he wanted to sing has never happened because he spent his days “stringing and unstringing” his instrument.  Whenever I read these lines a certain sadness enters my soul.  I get so preoccupied with the details and pressure of my schedule, with the hurry and worry of life, that I miss the song of goodness which is waiting to be sung through me.      -Joyce Rupp
   
We may dream of a time when we can lie down beneath the night sky and do nothing but be present in its vastness with total attention.  But our dreams are too often sabotaged by the busyness generated by anxiety.  We seek evidence of our worth through what we produce, become, and surround ourselves with.  Boredom has come to be regarded as one of our greatest enemies and we flee from it by generating endless complexity and busyness.  Boredom may be no more than a surrender of sensitivity, yet, rather than turning our hearts and minds to rediscover that lost sensitivity, we thirst for even more exciting experiences, drama, and intensity. . . When alienated from inner vitality we mistake intensity for wakefulness.       -Christina Feldman
   

They who are too busy doing good find no time to be good.       -Rabindranath Tagore

   
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence.  To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.      -Thomas Merton
    
Busyness is something that keeps us away from quiet time, from meditation, from friends and family, from reading, from relaxation.  And these are the things that help us to re-create ourselves, to rejuvenate ourselves, and to grow and develop as human beings.  Making the decision to step away from being busy can help us in many different ways, some of which are completely unimaginable to us while we're still busy, while we're still so scattered in our thoughts that we can't focus on anything else but the immediate task at hand.  We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves, and being perpetually busy is neither healthy n or wise for the vast majority of us.      -Tom Walsh
   

Somewhere in the late 20th century we got the idea that busyness is a virtue.  We decided that the more activities we can squeeze into our lives, the happier we'll be.  What ultimately results, though, is physical and spiritual exhaustion.  We jump from one appointment to another, our body and mind racing.  We schedule events back to back and overlapping, with no time to rest or reflect.  And when we're in one activity, we're either distracted with the thing we've just done or the thing that's coming up.  It's not a good way to live.      -Jack Zavada

   

Don't be too busy earning a living to make any money.       -Joe Karbo

    
A few years ago, on a liner bound for Europe, I was browsing in the library when I came across a puzzling line by Robert Louis Stevenson:  "Extreme busyness, whether at school, kirk, or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality."  Surely, I thought, "deficient" is a mistake--he must have meant "abundant."  But R.L.S. went merrily on, "It is no good speaking to such folk:  they can not be idle, their nature is not generous enough."
    Was it possible that a bustling display of energy might only be a camouflage for a spiritual vacuum?  The thought so impressed me that I mentioned it next day to the French purser, at whose table I was sitting.  He nodded his agreement.  "Stevenson is right," he said.  "Indeed, if you will pardon my saying so, the idea applies particularly to you Americans.  A lot of your countrymen keep so busy getting things done that they reach the end of their lives without ever having lived at all."       -Arthur Gordon
   

   
We seem to have no time for thought. The paradox, of course, is that we are busy doing nothing. Never before has so much leisure time been available to so many. Leisure hours now exceed working hours. But we have a genius for cluttering. We have somehow managed to persuade ourselves that we are too busy to think, too busy to read, too busy to look back, too busy to look ahead, too busy to understand that all our wealth and all our power are not enough to safeguard our future unless there is also a real understanding of the danger that threatens us and how to meet it.  Thus, being busy is more than merely a national passion; it is a national excuse.     -Earl Nightingale, Lead the Field
  
My life in Connecticut, I begin to realize, lacks the quality of significance and therefore of beauty, because there is so little empty space.  The space is scribbled on; the time has been filled.  There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself.  Too many activities, and people, and things.  Too many worthy activities, valuable things, and interesting people.  For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well.  We can have a surfeit of treasures--an excess of shells, where one or two would be significant.     -Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
  
The antidote to exhaustion may not be rest.  It may be wholeheartedness.  You are so exhausted because all of the things you are doing are just busyness.  There's a central core of wholeheartedness totally missing from what you're doing.     -David Steindl-Rast
   
  
How often have we heard such statements:  "I meant to write, but I just didn't have time" or "I wanted to drop in, but I've been so busy."  Why is it that despite more time for leisure, people today are busier than ever?
   Is this busy-ness due to more activities, or to the failure of people to organize their time efficiently?
   The people who achieve many things seldom give the impression of being busy.  They have developed the skill of using relaxed power.  When they work, they accomplish their tasks with spirit and efficiency.  The secret is not that they work faster than others, but that they make better use of their time.     -Norman Vincent Peale
  
We are encouraged from an early age to keep ourselves busy and productive and out of trouble.  But the truth is, being busy isn't necessarily healthy and it doesn't keep you out of trouble--especially if you stay busy so you have no time to be aware of your feelings.  Your body stores those unacknowledged feelings, and you know that is not good for you.
   I don't want to spend my life keeping busy.  Maybe I could successfully juggle an impressive list of responsibilities, but what would I be contributing to life?  I am much more interested in being creative than being busy.  Creating feels good.  It fills me, restores me, nourishes me and energizes me.     -Bernie Siegel
  
The trend among most people I know under the age of sixty is toward compulsive action.  It's as if our lives are on a treadmill with the continually increasing speed outside our control.
   The pace of our lives at work, home, and play anesthetizes us to the real reasons for each:  Why do we work?  Why do we try so hard to create a good home?  Why do we play?  Before we can answer those questions, we need to ask some others:  Why do I run so fast?  What am I running toward?  What am I running from?  Is this fast pace the way I really want to live?  Who sets my breakneck pace? . . .
   If you are obsessively active, please at least pause to ask yourself why and to listen for the answer from the still, quiet voice alive and well within you.  I don't have an answer for the hurry sickness afflicting our society and our souls.  But I do trust that the how-to-stop-it is within you, and you can change your pace if you want to.     -Sue Patton Thoele
  
We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity; but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up:  our name, our "biography," our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit. . . It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. . . . Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet.  Isn't that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?     -Sogyal Rinpoche
   

  
We live a culture that frames not getting enough sleep and being overwhelmingly busy and as a virtue. We are a culture that values speed over true presence. We get subtle (or not so subtle) encouragement to never slow, savor or consider. When I get caught up in that kind of busy (as most of us do from time to time) it is like I am driving in a car on a wide highway with a call-in talk radio show chattering away in the background. I can only see broad swaths of image as the...y pass by too quickly to consider. I can't hear the voice of my own heart or catch the small miracles that are happening quietly, faithfully closer to the ground. I have this idea that if we could reframe what we call abundance and valuable, our days would be filled with more of what we deeply love, instead of more of what we have to do.    -Carrie Newcomer
  
I am convinced that there are times in everybody's experience when there is so much to be done, that the only way to do it is to do it is to sit down and to do nothing at all.     -Fanny Fern
  

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