One of the greatest killers of family life and togetherness is activity. People flit from one event to another never touching down long enough to establish residency or to develop meaningful relationships. They call it "My hectic life or my busy life."
In the rush of activity, relationships with family and friends become shallow and often so tenuous they mean nothing. We know very little about those who are supposed to be closest to us and seemingly don't care to know because we don't have time to be bothered by others and their needy personalities. We do not have time to develop real intimacy.
It is an American conundrum. We have become so busy that we skip through life like a flat stone across the lake never stopping long enough to interact meaningfully with others or to be interested in their lives or welfare. If TV shows mirror society there is proof for you. The tenet of TV is me, me, me, want, want, want, now, now, now. Get out of my face and my way. The constant activity takes our time and our energy so that when the day is over we fall into bed exhausted with so many things clogging the arteries of our very existence that life becomes a blur like a sudden splotch of insects on the windshield while driving on a hot summer night. We cannot see clearly or remember where we are or why we are here but at least we are moving.
Americans race through life with a day planner in hand. This activity sucks the life out of the day. As people used to say in Highland Township, "I am so busy I meet myself coming and going." So much of my work was planning, working the plan, supervising and then moving on to the next plan. The present was a short elevator ride while moving to the next event.
People are so busy that they can't relax and sit down. They stumble through life on the run immersed in the latest gadgets and technology.
We are uncomfortable with quiet. We are seldom satisfied with what we have. We live according to shifting moral standards. We hate the restraints money causes and therefore live on credit beyond our means. We want and obsess about things we can't or don't have. We aren't happy unless we're successful, whatever that means. We believe that somewhere people have it all and we want it.
American cognoscente believe that if you are not busy you aren't an American, you aren't contributing or you are a hermit; you don't care and are not involved in life and are not community minded; you aren't social and must be drab, dull and boring and missing out on life; you are last century, out of date and not committed; out of step with the times, don't care about the latest bombastic issue on talk TV. If you are not busy you won't climb very high on the ladder of success. The CEO doesn't think you are sold on the company and don't commit yourself to company goals if your life is not driven by company values and goals.
So many families are so involved in their individual activities that they are like a group of roomers in a boarding house. Activity is a family killer.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.