The Violence We Create

Thomas Merton:

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence... (and that is) activism and overwork.  The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. 

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.  

The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace.  It destroys our own inner capacity for peace.  It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

I happened upon this quote in two different resource books this week.  There is a beauty and a truth to it for each of us.  

  • What are we allowing to carry us away?  
  • What is sabotaging the fruitfulness of our work?
  • What might we create if we increased our inner capacity for peace?

As most of us enjoy our long weekend, I encourage you to experiment with a new rhythm of rest and work.  You have the space of an extra day, how will use the time?