The recovery has a bodycount. I’m not trying to be alarming, that’s just how this comes out. The stories go something like this:
“He lost is job, then went missing two days ago. Now they’re dragging the river for his body.”
“Stood up to give a power point and just keeled over. Heart attack. At 34.”
I did not make these lines up. I heard them from friends.
People are giving up their lives … literally giving up their lives … for work that holds no meaning. I’m not saying people don’t need khakis or steaks, but something has happened so that the work of getting these things to the people who need them is a process that no longer includes dignity. We started to fetishize productivity, efficiency, busy. It’s a humble brag that we all like to drop: “Dude, I’m just crazy busy.” It’s a lot more socially acceptable to show off a full calendar than a full wallet.
But just like starting a toddler in kindergarten a year early, we don’t really ask where all this busy is supposed to get us. Is the end more time for Duck Dynasty? (Really, are we watching Duck Dynasty? I haven’t been but I wonder if I should.) Every zero inbox invites more emails. Every updated app fades with the new notifications. We become incredibly efficient task fulfillment units. But that’s not who we are, and I don’t believe it is who we were created to be.
And I’m tired of how it’s killing people. Let’s stop having lives to die for and start having lives worth living. And I think I saw a part of where that starts this past weekend. Our godson Davis celebrated his 11th birthday and invited three of his friends from school to a pool party. They splashed and jumped and slid and swam. Each of his friends gave Davis something they knew he would love, because they loved him. These 11 year old boys not only felt that, they would say that.
It’s remarkable enough that 11 year old boys would admit that to each other, or that they would be thoughtful enough to pick out meaningful birthday presents. What’s more remarkable is that they know Davis is special. Anyone can see that Davis has special needs. He uses a wheelchair and has a gastric feeding tube. But I don’t think these guys stop at the needs. What they hear from Davis every day is “I love you” and “Thank you.” You have to listen because Davis doesn’t talk like other people. But he does talk, and what he talks about is gratitude. That’s a good place to start.