Scallywag

Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.

~ Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888) ~

Rush!

April 22nd, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 20 secs

Nothing like a leisurely photo opportunity...

Nothing like a leisurely photo opportunity…

Today, almost everybody is in a rush. You wouldn’t know why sometimes. But there’s no denying that furtive look people keep which screams, “Please hurry!”

You could be excused for believing that a remote island down near the bottom of the world is immune to the word “rush”. But that’s not so. Thanks to modern day technologies we can cram just as much in as any other urban world citizens because we’re in a hurry too.

That’s what makes the very senior and young so exceptional. They don’t rush for anyone.

Your typical two or three year old is far more inclined to drag on your hand and stop for whatever takes her fancy, be it a tiny little beetle or the glint of a chew bar wrapper.

While the very elderly have long since given up rushing anywhere. They’ve been there and done that, and now they know that they are right where they’re meant to be (at least for the time being).

It is only we “inbetweeners” who see the need to rush at breakneck speed. We keep up the chase and maintain an unreasonable pace because it feels like that’s what life takes.

Sure, we’d like to jump off the merry go round. But with so much to do we hang on and try to push through until one hoped for day when we can have a break.

That we need to rush so much must seem strangely odd to people in tribal societies. There, time is a matter of days not minutes and hurrying around feels ridiculous to say the least. Try contemplating that when next you face the rush hour. Most likely, you’ll find the easy-paced life appealing but equally hard to believe.

Yet, while we accomplish, coordinate, and cajole each other into scheduled timeslots, we are missing something significant: the time to reflect on life.

Historically, rushing is an essentially modern concept heightened by our machinery. Cars get you there inside ten minutes if you luck in with green lights. Planes turn whole continents into routes. And, communication technology makes a mockery of both by giving us instant talk, text, and video. You cannot escape.

So what do we do in an “always on” culture? Should we continue to fall in line and keep up for fear of being left behind? Or, do we opt out completely and point the finger in criticism?

These are real options. Yet, to me, awareness at least gives us a buffer and a sense of control in the rush to keep up. To remember that you always have the final say each day and exercise your judgment to make it go the way you say so, is a good thing indeed.

So, rush if you must. But always think long about why you live as you do. Let your schedule come under humane scrutiny because a good life is balanced by reflection.

Is there room for you in the rush? Or, do you feel strangely separated from the frenetic pace? Where is the time to live soon, today, and right now? Keep questioning and decide the terms of engagement from your point of view. Because a life lived mindfully emphasizes quality and that is something you certainly deserve (however fast or slow you go).

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