Do. Or Do Not
Yoda’s wise counsel to his student, Luke Skywalker, in The Empire Strikes Back rings true. Whatever you call our common situation—a sabbath, a sabbatical, a pause, a break—hidden in these days is an opportunity to do or do not.
We very well may have escaped from the tyranny of the urgent. There are essentials and urgencies. There are important tasks to start, perform and finish. Even Ben Franklin’s wisdom of death and taxes is no longer true (temporarily)!!! We—at least I—am often tossed back and forth from urgent task to urgent task. Sometimes, procrastination sets up the urgency. Sometimes, life and my vocation dictate urgency and importance.
The call to isolate and shelter has lifted the power of urgency. Urgent tasks still claim us. Important responsibilities still garner our attention, time, and energy. But there is something different. The limitations of interactions, the restrictions placed on our mobility, the risks of getting sick have refocused what is and is not urgent and essential. One of the most urgent and essential things for us all is to remain safe and healthy.
I have not enjoyed this ‘freedom’ for a long time…if ever. I believe we should look at this as a freedom—freedom from doing what is not essential, freedom from spending our days chasing and being chased by so many and so much for so little.
I like the idea of doing—or not doing. If I walk, I walk because it was my choice. If I write, I write because it was my choice. If I cook breakfast for my family, I do so because it was my choice. If I call a friend, I call because it was my choice and I longed to hear their voice.
Before we go too far over the cliff of self-determination, we also need to remember that the needs of our neighbors SHOULD still determine a part of what do and don’t do. These days are not about what I want or what you want—they never have. There is always the other to consider. We can never be free from our obligation to care for other people and demonstrate that care.
So do. Or do not. Just make sure you know why you choose what you do or do not.