It’s a good time to rest
The world’s in a state of emergency. There’s so much to do to right the wrongs of our society. Those of us in a privileged position have a responsibility to do all we can.
We also have a responsibility to rest.
I’m definitely among the privileged right now. During this pandemic, I’ve not seen my livelihood disappear, and I’m not raising children who won’t have a school to go to this fall. My husband and I enjoy being together, and I love the community where I live. I have free time, and I’m using a lot of it to rest and take care of myself.
As a nonprofiteer I have to remind myself that resting doesn’t mean being lazy or irresponsible. In fact, just the opposite. Resting is restoring the perspective, energy, and passion that I’ll need to carry forward.
As I learned during my years of running a nonprofit and raising a family at the same time, resting is not an optional activity. If we go too long without rest, we begin to break down, both in our bodies and our spirits. We think we’re being productive, but instead we’re robbing from our lifetime productivity, and at some point there will be a reckoning. There will be a time when our perspective, focus and passion are urgently needed -- say, to deal with a family or organizational emergency -- and if we’ve already burned through our vital energy, we may find we’ve got nothing left.
David Whyte, the poet and author, says: “To rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves...Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way.”
There are plenty of crises that demand our attention right now. Us nonprofit folks are as responsible as we come, and we will not shirk. But we will be effective only if we take the time to nourish our bodies, minds and spirits by taking the time to deeply rest.