Addiction to Busyness

Recently, the inspiring writer/entrepreneur Courtney E. Martin​ has turned on the floodlights to illuminate some of the deepest truths about the compulsion of busyness.

Courtney, Estrus and Parker

Courtney Martin in conversation with Estrus Tucker and Parker Palmer, October 2015

I have read many wise missives on the topic by esteemed spiritual thinkers like Thomas Merton and Janet Ruffing, but in her recent blog post, Courtney skillfully pulls out some of the most deeply woven strands of our narcissistic culture in this piece, particularly in relationship to privilege. There’s the narcissism aspect of this issue and there’s also the underbelly of unworthiness.

This morning I am wondering about how privilege and power inform our relationship to busyness. How is our relationship to busyness also impacted by race, gender, class, disability and sexual orientation?

If we live in a culture that sees us as disposable, expendable, or less-than, maybe our overcommitted, overly busy lives are some unconscious (or conscious) attempt to feel a sense of value and worth. I recognize that our collective busyness can be seen across all lines of power, privilege and oppression; however, I am wondering about the nuances, the cultural undercurrents that shape our particular expression of and relationship to busyness. Maybe those of us with privilege are taught to take up too much space, or to believe that what we have to offer is more important than someone else’s offering.

Thank you, Courtney, for blowing the door wide open on this important conversation. Perhaps releasing our attachment to busyness is actually a radical act of liberation.