Being late seems to be becoming a greater concern nowadays. Being late for a meeting, a deadline, to work, to sleep, even for an occasional meetup with a friend, all seem to be under an ever more stentorian control by a clock. Rushing from one thing to the next seems to be the accepted state of things; time to wind down and simply chill, when available, has often the sense of being stealthily snatched from the greater state of busy. I know this is not the best way to be. I also know I share this state of being with many others – at least if they are talking and writing about it accurately.
From where comes this excessive concern with time and with achievement? It is as if every minute counted towards production, and the faster the production the better. However, the question, “To what end?” is not always obvious, and when the question is answered, it is usually a matter of money. By money, I don’t mean money for a cruise or a vacation abroad, although that would be nice. I mean money to pay the bills and continue to live independently. Yes, cooperative living would ameliorate that, but there are problems achieving that goal, too, and it is a different topic.
Why are we allowing this robot-like existence to be imposed upon us?? Perhaps we accept victimization, believing that there is nothing we can do about it anyway. Perhaps we assume that if we work hard enough (which never seems to quite materialize), we can change things to a better way of being. Perhaps we are proud of being the ones who can run the fastest, endure the longest, and (hopefully) make the biggest mark. Perhaps we are struggling to hold a position of material affluence so as to not slide down into what is perceived as a wholly undesirable way of living. Perhaps we feel bound to boosting the lives of others through our seemingly unending activity. Perhaps our intent is elemental survival. Those are all reasons I have heard.
There are certainly outer parameters that influence this state of constant busyness. Economists have much to say, depending on their individual perspectives, about wealth leaving the ranks of the lower classes on an upward journey towards the “one percent”. Those left working two or three jobs to pay the bills cite survival as the reason for a continuous focus on work. There are warnings about economic collapse, or about natural disasters that encourage working hard to create a practical cushion for such things. Activists and politicians, from different viewpoints, demonstrate energetic operations and strategies to repel a variety of upcoming dooms. (Some of these issues are quite real, but the process is often similar.) Those who embrace more metaphysical viewpoints explain that the earth itself is increasing its vibrational speed, hence the impetus for us to move faster. Most of us perceive that time is moving faster than it once did. However, these outer parameters cannot be the only reasons we continue to submit to endless running.
There must be inner reasons, perhaps collective inner reasons, as well. An attentive look at the outer reasons given for accepting the status quo reveals a basic underlying theme. That theme is fear. We embrace the concept of continual activity, minimizing the need for quiet time, beauty, pensiveness, looking inward, “chilling”, because we are afraid of losing what we have, being unable to increase the quality of life (usually measured in money), or perhaps losing life itself if we don’t keep rushing to preserve it. We are afraid of downsizing our incomes, and the changes that would precipitate. And, underneath, we are often secretly afraid that after all, we are not quite worthy of what we can envision. We become unwilling to risk the changes that could propel us forward, not necessarily into more material wealth, but into ways of living that might well prove to be far more satisfying than the status quo. We are afraid – we might lose too much, we are not quite good enough to make it work. And so we continue to submit.
It is time, I think, for each of us to examine the elemental fear within ourselves, including the fear that we may not be quite good enough, quite worthy. It is a common assumption, often deeply ingrained from childhood, that whatever we have done is not quite sufficient, that more needs be done, or, that who/whatever we are, someone else is better. It is a fear based on competition and the resulting aggression or capitulation, and it is guaranteed to bring unrest and pain. At asserts that if there are winners, there must also be losers, that we are all separate from each other, that the other is an assumed rival or enemy, that we must be on the alert to protect ourselves, and that cooperation never got anyone anywhere, except temporarily as allies against someone else.
The truth is, we are all worthy, all derived from the same Energy of creation. There is none more worthy than another. Even those who have rejected their worthiness and pursue roads of competition and/or destruction, or who focus on taking advantage of others – even those participate in the essential worthiness created within us.
Let us, then, risk taking the time to look within until we find our essential, worthy selves. From that connection, let us find ways to be which, while acknowledging achievement, also promote the inner time we need with ourselves and others, with beauty and joy. From that stance, let us create a world which sustains and nurtures, rather than consumes the energy of its inhabitants.