“How are you?”
What if we lived in a society where the admirable answer was “rested” or “peaceful” – a literal fullness of peace?
What if “exhausted”, “tired”, or “busy” were sporadic responses that had meaning – that could elicit genuine concern and help? Instead, we have created an economy of fatigue inflation. There is so much desperate insanity being transacted that it no longer has any value. So, we launch a fruitless chase for more, desperate to capture the elusive “enough” that equates to Worth.
Try it! It only takes one test to prove how resistant we are to admitting (and therefore, of seeking) peace. As soon as you reply “I am rested,” the response will be that he or she is jealous. Not the edifying jealousy you may receive from a new job or fantastic vacation, though – no. This envy is condescending. We hear “you are lucky” to be rested and interpret it to mean “you are lucky that you are not important enough for this world to run you ragged”.
An interesting strategy, isn’t it – battling to win worthiness with weariness?
Exhaustion is our ammunition of Significance. Each hour of sleep deprivation is a bullet lofted into camps of our fellow human soldiers, convinced that if we sleep a little less, live a little less-contently, put one more notch in our misery belts, we will be the ones to win the war – we will be the victor paraded around, awarded a medal, held in high esteem. It is an exercise in futility, since a crowd will never draw to this parade (they are all too busy).
Instead we sling slugs at each other for awards that can’t be won, living miserably amidst mutual destruction.
The only weapon that can oppose this violence is fearless fortitude – the ability to respond that you are full of peace, take the fire of condescension, and march from the trenches still sure of your own significance. It will take the bold to change this battle.
We have so much to experience in the limited number of breaths we are allotted; we are all trying to live a hundred lives in eighty years – why are we spending any of it on trivial campaigns to make others surrender? Our words are our weapons in this fight. Each time you speak, the world is writing your biography. Do you want your memory to be “she was busy”? You will live the life you speak – it is time to change the mantra. Perhaps it is time for the response to be “I am living the life I have chosen to live, enjoying the hell out of it, and am confident of my own significance”.
The best returns on your investment of Importance will come from dedicated intention. You would not invest one penny in a thousand accounts and expect to achieve wealth… do not invest your energy in a million places and expect to increase your worth! Each morning, before you even open an eye, before you let the battle wear you down – you are already worthy. That is the message we need to be sharing.
It starts with you: be bold. Bold enough to rest, bold enough to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others. Be bold enough to know this is not a competition, to enjoy yourself without justification, and to know you are already so very significant. Most importantly, be bold enough to believe that your own level of busyness is no one else’s business.