Photo Credit: Marc Falardeau
Yesterday I talked about how tired I was. I didn't intend to make a point about life and the way we live it, but I did. I was just talking, no deep thoughts just activities. A couple friends responded with their own craziness that leads to tiredness. That and discussions I've had recently about schools and churches made a connection about a deeper issue in American society. Before I share that observation let me say, I could be way off here.
With the economy in the toilet, the solution in several places seems to be let a few people go and add their job duties to other people. I forget where I read the actual statistic, but Americans work now more than before. We stress about our jobs and take less vacations. This fear and stress seems to have invaded other areas of our life. We schedule our kids lives like we do our own. They have little league sports and music lessons or dance lessons. They have their Girl Scouts or Cub Scouts and church groups and school groups. We try to do all of that with our kids, so we get up earlier and stay up later to get in our extra working hours. Once you take responsibility for something at a church you will be asked to take responsibility for several other things. So now we have our jobs that require more, our children that require more, and our churches that require more.
Why isn't it okay to stop and hang out on the porch with the neighbors? Why isn't it okay to go away on vacation for a few days? Why isn't it okay not to be at church every time the doors are open? Do we not trust that people know their own bodies and lives? Do we think they are cheating us out of something? Are we worried that we'll have to do more if that person takes care of their life before they take care of our cause?
I'm not saying you should quit everything you are doing. I'm not saying to stop all interactions with the outside world. I'm not saying you should give up all of your responsibilities. I'm just saying we need to learn how to say 'no' and mean it more often. No guilt attached. We can't all keep living this way. For those of you reading who are a part of my generation, we are the future. We set the tone. We need to learn how to say no because if we don't, what are we teaching our kids?
To what do you need to say no today?