I stumbled across a very nice little sentiment today about why “people were created”. It made me pause and ponder life; in a good way. These days, I appreciate anything that makes me stop and breathe for a moment and reconnect with my humanity.
Isn’t it true?
There is certainly no shortage of CHAOS in our lives. We often become so focused on THINGS that we miss what’s truly important about sharing this beautiful earth with other PEOPLE. The “pursuit of happiness” has cleverly been redefined by advertising agencies and credit card companies to equate with the “pursuit of possession”. Our world is filled with more gadgets and distractions than ever before which compete for our time and attention. These things definitely seem to siphon time away from us at lighting speed, and continually pull us away from each other. In last week’s LDS General Conference there were several talks specifically focused on using our time wisely, and being careful not to trade “something of less importance for something of greatest”.
One of my favorite songs growing up was titled “People“, sung by the incomparable Barbra Streisand in the musical Funny Girl. I loved to crank up my tiny cassette tape player and belt out the lyrics:
“People. People who need people. Are the luckiest people in the world!”
(always climaxing in that fabulous melodramatic sob at the end, of course) When leading lady Fanny Brice sings this song she has tragically learned too late the consequences of having put her ambition (and “things”) before the people she really loves.
OK. I admit, this is a tough subject to tackle and there’s no easy answers! Unless we choose to move into a cave in Siberia or find a desert island it’s going to be impossible to live without some level of chaos. It is a personal nemesis of mine trying to keep everything in balance – which, these days has proved about as successful as herding cats!.
The majority of us are juggling at least ten very valid and urgent priorities at any given moment and there simply is never enough T-I-M-E to devote to family and friends and basic human interaction! Perhaps that’s why I always look forward to Monday Night FHE at our house, when we turn off all electronics, take the phone off the hook and simply spend a few uninterrupted hours together as a family. About two years ago, we decided that one night a week simply wasn’t enough dedicated “family time” so, we started what became dubbed as our “spiritual time” (that’s pronounced “Speer-chul” with a proper Utah hick twang). Basically we gather about 30 min. before bedtime for a mini-devotional of sorts, taking turns picking a song to sing, reading a chapter of scripture an inspirational thought, sharing something about our day and mapping out any logistics for the next day. We conclude by kneeling in prayer together, and then tackling each other in a group hug. Sure, we’ve missed several nights here and there, but overall it’s become a habit that is part of our night-time routine. It’s become a cherished way to end the day. Another thing we do to carve out some “people time” at our house is to try to eat dinner together as often as possible. As we all know, studies have proven family dinner time to be the best and simplest way to deter children from damaging choices and raise grades. But, even after instigating these rituals it often feels like we have made only a small dent in our frantic pace of 21st Century living.
I’m trying not to feel discouraged about all of this, but rather focus on each small daily opportunity for human interaction. I’m always open to more ideas. What are you doing that helps control chaos in your life? How are you keeping proper balance and making more time for people and less time for “things”? – MoSop
“To be encircled in the arms of His Love will be a REAL and not a VIRTUAL experience!” – David A. Bednar
- Conference Highlights – October 2011 (mormonsoprano.com)
- Stress & Chaos ~ Do We Secretly Like It? (thebutlersays.com)
Lovely, lovely post! Dinner time together is a staple in our little family, as well as giving thanks,every day…such a simple thing(s) to do that makes such a big difference in our lives.
HL BISE, So true! Keep up the good work. – MoSop