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Stand & Stare

Leisure, the poem by W.H. Davies’ may not be so popular these days. It was published in 1911 but still holds meaning.

I feel there are many people who live just for the sake of living, just because they are alive. There’s little purpose or meaning to life. no footprints left in places passed. We live for the moment, and often without purpose or posterity in mind.

Of course, the first to be accused is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, till we reason that it doesn’t necessarily take great wealth or position to live a life of meaning or impact. Have you heard of a poor person sharing her food with others? Have you seen downtrodden persons passing traffic in road congestions?

There was the story told of a young business executive who went to a community and saw fishermen sleeping in their boats late in the morning.

“Why aren’t you guys fishing?’
“We’ve caught enough for the day.”

“What!? Why not catch some more?”
“What for?”

“Then you could sell them and make more money!”
“What for?”

“Then you could buy big fishing trawlers and catch more fish and make lots of money!”
“What for?”

“Then you could sit down and do nothing!”
“But we are already doing just that!”

Yeah! We are so busy and so hurried; we often pass by our destinations unaware! In The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer points out that previously, a wealthy man was recognized by the leisure of his life and the vacation he’s able to afford (vacation in time, not necessary luxury). But now, we think of a wealthy man as the busy one. Often we see wealth in the speed and luxury with which we can appear in far-flung cities in so short a time. Yet, something tells us that highspeed living is not synonymous with high-impact living.

Slow down once in a while;
Look around you; look within you.
Appreciate your present, contemplate your goals!
Are you still on course??

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

– Leisure”

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