The disease of busy
“I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: ‘I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.’ In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask others how they’re doing, you ask in Arabic, ‘how is your haal?’ In reality, we ask, ‘How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?’ I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment…Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.”
Omid Safi, November 6, 2014, September 16, 2017, On Being with Krista Tippett
Omid Safi is a columnist for On Being on Thursdays and is Director of Duke University Islamic Studies Center. He is teaching us to be more intentional about relationships rather than being a person making lists and doing tasks and assignments. My usual greeting to start a conversation is, “How are you doing?” The word doing implies that I am interested in what they are doing, while I really want to know how they are being, how we can stay connected in this relationship and how we both can learn to live as human beings rather than humans doing. Maybe at some point I can say, “How is your heart,” for that sharing is what will make the most difference in allowing us to be in relationship.
Can we also transfer this to our relationship to God? Instead of starting our prayers with our to do list for God and expecting God to give us a to do list as well, can we open prayers with “God, how is your heart? Show me your heart and open up my heart to you.”