Have you ever walked along the streets of Ayala before and after work? Or maybe the streets of New York if you're more familiar with it. What you'll notice are people rushing to work in the morning and rushing to the train station in the evening.
Everyone seems to be preoccupied with something. They're there, but they're not there. They are there, but their minds seem to be wandering some place else.
They are breathing, but they are not alive. They are existing, but they are not living. They are not present in the moment. They are not living in the moment.
I realized that there are two enemies of living our lives: hurry and busyness.
We hurry too much that we fail to notice what's around us. Worse, we hurry too much to appreciate what's around us.
We hurry too much to finish our work that we fail to enjoy the process of getting it done where we grow and build character.
We hurry too much to get to our work that we fail to appreciate every step we take.
We hurry too much to be in the future that we forget to appreciate what is right here, right now.
We hurry too much to help those around us, even when we already notice those who need our help.
We hurry too much to take the time to listen to someone who needs listening to—even the members of our own families.
We hurry too much to share our lives with others.
We hurry too much to live our lives that we fail to really live it. We're here, but we're not here.
Sometimes, we are also too busy.
Too busy to step out of our boxes and notice what's around us.
Too busy to take a step back and "zoom out" to see the whole picture of what we're doing and even the whole picture of our whole lives. (Credit to The Feast for "zooming out.")
Too busy to look away from the things that make us busy and see the more pressing and important issues we all face like climate change, gross inequality of the distribution of the world's resources, and the lower standards of morality all around the world. All because society is too busy making "progress" in their own individual lives. No one is going to solve our problems for us. We all must take action. (I got too caught up again. This is for another blog post.)
At the core of our hurry and busyness is fear. The fear of not being enough. The fear of uncertainty. The fear of not knowing where our next meal will come from. Our insecurities all come from fear.
Our hurry and busyness becomes a form of hiding from all our fears as they take our minds off them. We also get some relief and some form of security from our hurry and busyness not realizing that they are only temporary solutions to our fears.
The world is run by fear. Our economies are run by fear. Selfishness and greed both come from fear. Corporations are run by fear. Our so-called "progress" are based on fear—global progress, economic progress, corporate growth, and even individual progress.
Instead, why don't we all take a step back and think about what's truly important. Why don't we step back and address this fear? Why don't we step back and think about what truly matters?
When we do, I'm sure we'll realize that there's only one thing that matters: love. Only love can cast out all fears. It's biblical.
Only love can take away all our fears and insecurities—our love for God, our love for others, and genuine, healthy self-love, not selfish love. To receive love, we also have to give love. And giving love means being vulnerable. And being vulnerable means accepting, sharing, and facing all our weaknesses. Only then can we address them.
Why don't we all work because of love instead of fear? Then, we'll realize that we have to do work that matters—to you and to others.
Why don't we all live our lives because of love instead of fear? Then, we'll live our lives not only for ourselves, but also for others.
We'll also realize the importance of sharing not only our resources, but also our time and, most importantly, our lives with someone else.
It's time for us to reclaim our lives once again. Let's take our lives back from fear, hurry, and busyness. It won't be easy because of our human nature and the deep-rooted culture we all have built, but we can still do it. We can still take back our lives.
It is only by loving can we be truly present. It is only by loving can we truly be living.