Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Acceptable Violence?

When I'm in a hurry, I'm short with my family. I don't take time to look the clerk in the eye. If there's lots to do, I'm more likely to mutter under my breath or think bad of someone. As my list for the day grows, so does my stress level and Lord have mercy on anyone in my wake.

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence . . .”

Thomas Merton

Is Merton hitting the nail on a head I've never noticed before? Do I wear myself out in my busyness and thus violate my relationships with my family, my friends, my God by giving them what's left of me?

Violate . . . violence. They are related, no? Do I inflict violence by dismissing my loved ones and my Lord, for the sake of proving myself worthy in my activities?


I don't like the sound of that. Am I guilty? I never thought filling my days was violent, but when the pressure mounts, I know people close to me could claim abuse. Just because society pats us on the back for being productive, doesn't mean it's right.

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

Not even my pursuits, my goals, my activities.

Lord, open my eyes to what is most important. Help me use my time wisely. Give me the ability to stop inflicting punishment in the way I manage my days.

To see what others thought of this quote, visit our host, Emily at imperfect prose.


Marsha Young said...

"Just because society pats us on the back for our productivity doesn't mean its right."

Oh my, I think I need to go put a "Pas Patch" on my owie.

Well done. ....marsha

emily wierenga said...

tami, it is so good to 'meet' you. i love how you put this... about violating our relationships. it definitely stung though; you hit the nail on the head along with merton :) such a blessing to do IOW with you today! e.

cin said...

Yes, ouch. Yes, violation.
This one is printing and then heading to my purse.
Shorts don't have back pockets today.
Slow smiles. Deep hugs.