Your Occasional Stoic – we’re always “too busy”

From Alexander the Platonist: rarely, and never without essential cause, to say or write to anyone that ‘I am too busy’; nor to use a similar excuse, advancing ‘pressure of circumstances’ in constant avoidance of the proprieties inherent in our relations to our fellows and contemporaries

–          Aurelius, Meditations, 1:12

Alexander the Platonist was for a time Marcus’s secretary, and man his advice hits close to home.  How often do I use the “too busy” excuse?  Probably once a week.  But here’s the thing, often, if not always, I am too busy.

I imagine running the largest empire the world have ever seen kept Marcus pretty busy as well.  So what is he trying to tell himself here?  That he should say yes to more dinner invitations?  Or instead, is he asking himself to be thoughtful in his responses, to reflect before pushing others away, to be present enough in his decisions to not act rashly in his treatment of others.

Seems to me it is the later, which is difficult enough.

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  1. chasingthekenyans

    i dunno i kind of think most people overuse that phrase… i’m more of a believer in the “you make time for what’s important” theory. yes, i know that sometimes we really are jam packed busy, i’m not denying that, but many days we could probably sneak in -whatever it is we say we’re too busy for-. in my case… returning a phone call to a friend, doing chores around the house, heck even catching up on blog posts!

    1. seanv2

      That is the balancing act isn’t it Lindsay? There are many times when we can do more, but also times when we really should be doing less. I’m one who is always trying to squeeze more into a day, but there are days when I just can’t get in all done and I end up getting behind in my blog comments!

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