Throughout my time in high school and college, I have witnessed firsthand the “busyness” of which Tim Kreider writes in his article, “The ‘Busy’ Trap.” The drive to stay busy is drilled into students at a relatively young age and is not soon forgotten. Upon entering high school, so many teenagers are taught that a combination of straight A’s, extracurricular activities, and community service is the key to admittance to a superior university. This mindset carries over into the college years, where students seek internships and research positions in order to bolster their resumes. Once graduated, this outlook perpetuates into the workplace; employees overwhelm themselves with projects to impress their immediate superiors and advance through the company ranks. A lifetime of work finally culminates at retirement, 50 years or more after “busy” became a key word in our vocabulary.
So what compels all of these individuals to stay involved in so many activities for so many years? For many, guilt forces them to take on one task after another. Students who don’t sign up for each new club or volunteer opportunity are lectured on how they fail to fulfill their potential. The working man or women who doesn’t jump at the opportunity to lead the next task force is said to lack ambition. Others feel that in a culture obsessed with staying busy, certain life necessities, such as financial security or education, are lost to the idle. Finally, there are those who actually enjoy the challenge of dealing with too much in too little time. However, they are often far and few between. Ultimately, the retirees who look back on their lives with the fewest regrets are those who indulged in a family trip to the lake, a weekend in Vegas, or even a quiet night with a book.
Check out the article at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/
Posted by Intern Connor Sullivan