The Hurried Life

The Hurried Life

Busy. Busy. Busy. Do you feel that life has not only gotten busier but it’s like being strapped onto a perpetual treadmill that cannot stop? The increasing fatigue from the ceaseless striving both at work and at home has led to the hapless feeling that time is never enough to accomplish the growing to-do list.

With the onslaught of technological gadgets that promise high speed connectivity and instant accessibility, it’s a common sight to find people tethered to their mobile devices as if that’s their only lifeline to significant existence. The strong reliance on these hi-tech gizmos does not help to slow down the pace of a hurried life. Instead, it is feeding into the pattern of an addictive junkie who cannot survive a day without an information- sensory overload.

Recently, I was invited by an old friend for lunch who gave me a first hand glimpse into his world of living out a “hurried life”. A self-professed workaholic, his keen sense of business acumen has taken him into all corners of the world to sniff out opportunities to grow his huge conglomerate. In the eyes of the world, he has reached the pinnacle of success when his business recently scored a public listing that saw his market shares soaring to an unprecedented high.

Without curbing his enthusiasm, he related how this rush of success has taken a toll on his body when he found himself one morning “bloating up like a whale” and was rushed immediately to the hospital. The doctors could not really diagnosed his ailment but gave him a bad prognosis as his vital organs were showing signs of distress with readings shooting way off the normal chart. Visibly distressed, his wife and children watched in disbelief as he was surrounded by his business aides who turned up in droves by his hospital bed to conduct meetings even though his doctors had prescribed strict bed rest.

Bemused by his boast that he still managed to clinch multi million deals despite being hospitalized; I asked in all my sincerity if this was worth all that risk of succumbing to death. He looked at this simpleton me and said “Nope! I am confident that I had the best care and moreover, this is nothing in comparison to the risks that I take in my business ventures!”

My response? Aghast. Here is clearly a smart man faced with a choice to slow down lest his life ebbs away in the strain of physical stress. Yet he prefers to heed to the tyranny of the urgent. Much as I admire his success and envy his zest, I ate the lunch in quiet reflection with this running thought in my mind “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul/life?” I hope that I do not come across as judgmental in this instance. Perhaps I may be simplistic but it does make good sense to me to choose to disembark from the treadmill when the incessant running after material success is killing me slowly but surely.

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