“Speed, ironically, is so often a symptom of total immobility.” -David Whyte in Crossing the Unknown Sea – Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity
Most of the individuals I coach are suffering from the effects of speed – the soul-sucking drug of the 21st Century. The danger of this drug is the fact that it is an intangible substance. This however does not stop it from being trafficked. It is distributed everyday by almost everyone of us.
I talk to individuals each week who, when it comes to their own direction, seem to be frozen – their specific brand of immobility a result of an unconscious addiction to speed. The distribution of this intangible drug has its tangible manifestations – as when we ask someone if they’ve been busy.
“Hey Jeff, good to see you. How’s business? Have you been busy?” Of course I answer, “Yes” – even if I’m not at the moment. You see, to not be busy is …
And that’s the point. What is it to not be busy, at least not busy all the time? Is it bad?
There are times when we are busy doing the most important things to us as individuals … and doing the most important things for those we are called to serve. And then there are the stretches of time when we are busy doing things that are, well, just activity. When this category of activity infests our time, we become immobile.
To be immobile is to deny self. This is not a self-denial that puts others first; it’s a condition that serves no one.
Speed is judgment – when an individual reduces their own value, and that of others, based on unfocused busyness.