Stop being so busy, start living.

I read an article a few weeks ago that touched me profoundly.  Maybe, you read it to? It appears to be from 2005, but is circling the interwebs now.  It is called, Always Go to the Funeral by Deirdre Sullivan. I literally cannot stop thinking about it!

There are two extremely important life lessons in the essay.

We can all learn from the First Lesson. Sullivan says:

“”Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy.”

I have to admit, between having kids, business ventures, and plain old life itself, it is easy to ignore this lesson. Easy to not do the things that mean the world to others and are just small inconveniences to me.

For instance, I am not the best at thank you notes or birthday cards or even picking up the phone.  I am not the best at keeping social plans or going out with the girls. I am not the best at checking in or planning get togethers.  Don’t get me wrong, I love people and I am mostly an extrovert. When I am with people it genuinely brings me up not wears me down. But, sometimes its just easier not to. Busyness is always the excuse and an easy one at that. I mean, we’re always busy now, right? Always so much to do.

But, that excuse is getting old, at least for me.  This year, one of my goals is the follow through, the deepening of relationships, attending small group.  I am determined to start sending the cards, picking up the phone, and mainly showing the people I care about that I really do care about them.

And one thing I know is that when you obligate yourself to others, the obligation becomes less of an inconvenience and more a part of a fulfilling life. That fulfillment does not just apply to me, it also applies to the others I touch through kindness and genuine caring.

I really wish I had learned this lesson long ago. Sometimes we become so wrapped up in ourselves, and our hurt, and our own “busyness,” it’s easy to lose sight of others.  Which is entirely sad because your connection with others can bring you abundant fulfillment and abundant happiness.

But, that happiness is not free. It costs your time and your thoughtfulness.

The Second Lesson ties into the first. Sullivan says,” In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”

WOW!!!! This one hit me square in the gut! This is the one I could not get out of my mind!

She is so right!! On most days, our battle is not so extreme as good vs evil. It is is “doing good vs. doing nothing.”  It’s easy to do nothing. It’s easy to say you will help next time. It is easy to ignore what you could change.

See, we don’t feel like bad people if we do nothing.  We don’t think poorly about our character when we do not act. We simply move on or think “next time.” But, often that next time never arrives. We continue our busy lives with our important things.

The real question is:

How to push past complacency?

How to move when it is easier to sit still?

How to help when it is easier to pass by?

The only answer I know, and one you have heard me say before, is to act. One small action begets another and another and another. The law of inertia states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. So, once you do some good, don’t stop.

I commit to doing more good than doing more nothing. Will you join me?

For my other doers out there, I real do hope you join me in stepping off the sidelines.

Aim high,


Here is a link to the full article.


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