There is a certain joy about the person who is busy. I listen to individuals complain bitterly about how much they do, while at the same time I see the way their eyes contradict their words. Their words do not match the life and fire in their eyes. It seems they really donít want to have less to do, but they do want everyone to appreciate the number of things they are doing. I think we all have been guilty of this type of behavior at some time. Being busy is a lifestyle to which many of us are accustomed.†
Being addicted to a fast-paced life is not the worst thing that can happen to us. Being without something to do can be much worse. Leonardo Da Vinci said, ďIron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and, in cold weather, becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.Ē Just like iron and water, our minds corrode and our bodies freeze when we have no mission.
The real trick is to keep an appropriate balance between activity and rest. To go even further, our activity should be balanced between mental and physical. The rest should be a combination of sleep and recreation. It gets a little tricky at times to sort out whether I am resting or I am busy. For instance, if I am lying on the couch doing an impression of a couch potato and watching an enlightening documentary, am I busy or am I resting? Better yet, if I am sitting next to a stream watching the boats go by, it is pretty easy to see that I am resting. Now, put a fishing pole next to me, and I have immediately taken on a different roleóI am being active as a fisherman. Thatís what I think thousands of men and women love about fishing as a sport; there is no requirement to catch anything. A baited hook in the water changes one from a loafer to a sportsman.
More seriously, inaction can be a killer if extended over a long period of time. During periods of isolation from activity, we may concentrate on imaginary ills that our mind, with all its power, can make real. The effects of inactivity on a human being can be dramatic or subtle, but they will be there. In years past, all you had to do, to understand graphically what I am referring to, was to walk down the halls of any nursing home. Sitting in those halls were people with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Their eyes were without life and fire. Today, in the more enlightened establishments, there are daily activities and the sparkle has returned to the eyes of the residents. They have something to look forward to, something to plan for, and something to keep them busy.† They are happy.
The next time you start to complain about being busy, consider the alternative.