​Becoming a 'Human Being' vs. a 'Human Doing'

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Becoming a 'Human Being' vs. a 'Human Doing'

When I was in college, I had a thoughtful professor who hated the 'b' word; as in 'busy.' He would say that too often people use the word 'busy' to describe how they have been and he didn’t understand why people felt the need to let others know that they had a ton going on. He also noted that the phrase 'being busy,' doesn’t actually describe how a person is feeling. I found this profound to think about. Why is it that some people feel the need to always be so busy and to let others know that they’re busy?

The way we choose to live our lives will shape who we become. Often that requires deep reflection of our habits and the kinds of relationships we are choosing to allow in our life. However, one of the greatest barriers to this deeper reflection is 'busyness.'

A lot of people recognized their addiction to busyness during the pandemic. When things were shut down and we were expected to limit our socializing, people began to realize how they were spending their time day in and day out. We realized how much we filled our time with being on social media, partying, traveling, unhealthy relationships, or being at work. People began to feel their emotions, rather than being able to distract themselves from them.

In our society, when you introduce yourself to another person, often people ask 'what do you do?' This question has the potential to affect the rest of the conversation depending on who is on the other side of asking it. We live in a capitalist society that promotes achieving as a means for validation of our worth. During the pandemic, people began to realize they were more than what they did and that they wanted to spend their time with people that mattered and doing things that were important to them.

When we choose to allow our calendars to be packed full of to-do lists and activities, we end up becoming more like 'human doings' rather than 'human beings.'

In his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer states, 'Because what you give your attention to is the person you become. Put another way: the mind is the portal to the soul, and what you fill your mind with will shape the trajectory of your character. In the end, your life is no more than the sum of what you gave your attention to.'

He also states, 'the solution to an over busy life is not more time. It’s to slow down and simplify our lives around what really matters.'

Something that I’ve been mulling over for the last decade has been what it means to find worth in 'who I am' vs. 'what I do.' Maybe you have felt drained and burned out as things have returned back to normal after the pandemic. If this is the case, I would encourage you to slow down and make time for some inner reflection on how you are spending your time. Are you making time for yourself to just be human? Do you believe you are enough just as you are? There’s no need to hurry and try to get everything in your life in order. Your capacity is your capacity right now and that is enough.

~Danielle Nelson, LLC