“In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask people how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.
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. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.” ~ Omid Safi from his article: The Disease of Being Busy
When I first read this article tears welled in my eyes at the realization of what American society has become. I felt deep sadness for my friends, family and, yes, even myself in the way we fall for the notion that if we aren’t busy, we aren’t doing enough. I often wonder at what point in time did this epidemic of “busyness” begin and why did we let it get this bad? It’s gotten so terrible that we’ve let it seep into our children’s lives and yes, they are suffering greatly for it as well.
We as a society have lost our innocence, our time to wonder and to marvel, to love and to breathe. It’s apparent in the loss of such simple yet vital things like mindful dinners with family or elongated intentional conversation with those we come in contact with each day – from our doctors to the woman behind the counter who makes our coffee each morning.
We are at risk of losing everything that matters, yet we continue to busy ourselves with nonsense. With our smartphones and our laptops and the text messages we’ve embraced as a dominant form of communication.
Yet, as with everything in life there is hope. We don’t have to buy into the busyness anymore. Not at work, not with friends, not with our kids’ schools and certainly not with ourselves (a.k.a our ego). There are incredible ways in which we can gain so much time and energy back into our lives. This article provides several ways in which we can start.
Today I wish you love, peace, joy and kindness. Do the same for another by asking how one’s heart is. Don’t worry about checking your phone or that thing at work that is “pressing”. Simply look into the soul of another human being and see the very purpose of life.
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