What The Coronavirus Pandemic Reveals About The Endless Urge To Stay Busy


From NPR and WB. You are Boston. I magnin Chakrabarti and this is on point. Nobody chose this. No one wants to be in a walk down because of an historic deadly pandemic and yet in this moment when the din of daily. Life has been quieted. Maybe that's making room for something else to it's been very lonely in very quiet the white noise of the city. Finally it's Allow me to hear a lot of my thoughts and And I didn't realize how much stuff goes to my alarm any thoughts that I have. I started a garden. Chang to be present in the moment and in the place and I'm feeling very lucky to be in a place where I have lots of trees and birds and create your friend. It's been difficult because I live in an area where have not a single neighbor. So I've come to learn how to walk in my yard. Get the plants notice flowers blooming spending more time in that way. That's Marie in the French. West indies Benny in Weitzberg Kentucky and one in Brooklyn New York. They're sharing their stories with corona diaries. An open source audio projects supported by the Nieman Foundation for journalism at Harvard and the MIT Center for advanced virtuality. Now gone and Benny and Marie are all talking about the sudden loss of all the business that once dominated their lives. Your lives my life for sure. It's upsetting and unsettling to lose the activities that once filled our days and marked our accomplishments but again is that also maybe allowing something else to flourish. So this hour on point. Let's talk about business. And the virtues of experiencing more by doing less and to help us think through this is Omid Safi. He's a professor of Islamic studies at Duke University and the founder of illuminated courses where he's currently teaching a class on Rumi. You can find a link to some of his columns about business for the on being project. We have linked to those at on point. Radio DOT ORG omid. Welcome to on point thank you. It's really lovely to be with you. How has your life been changed or transformed by this moment? You know I think as you said this is something that Very few of US could have seen coming and we didn't go into it with a map or with a plan And I think in the first few days like a lot of other people I found myself experiencing a very deep sense of loss and focusing on all the things that we're not getting to do and I'm very fortunate enough to be married to someone a lot wiser than myself and And so she very wisely turned it around for me and said well you know Everyone is talking about everything that is prohibited or recommended against. What is it that we are getting to do? What is it that we do want to use this time? For and My wife is a gardener and so she very much speaks in these natural cycles and The language that she gave me was a life that is not so much stripped down but it is distilled And that's kind of what the last few weeks have felt like. It really feels like distilling life to the essence and we are much more Trying at least to be present with one another Focused on checking gin with loved ones on very simple home-cooked meals When we are able to to take a walk outside and And there's actually you know something quite beautiful into midst of the storm that is around us and all of the uncertainty and all of the suffering that we see. I think there's some sense that the pace of life that we were living before was not so humane So we should just acknowledge right here at the at the top of of this discussion that there are many people right. Now who don't have a choice right Professor because they have to continue. They are the essential workers of this nation. That are keeping us. They're holding us together so they don't have a choice they they are as busy if not more than they ever were before and We should also note that there are many people who have a lot of time on their hands that they simply do not want because they are out of work so I just Wanna I just WanNa say that. There's there's range and I wanted to acknowledge that not to not to diminish what you're saying but it's part of this the whole picture exactly and if he gets a good reminder that you know sometimes we use this language that were all in this together. Well we may be all in it together but we're not all in it in the same way. Yeah and it has very different consequences for us and I think you know we're seeing Some of the much deserve attention that the healthcare providers that the people who stalk grocery stores that the the postal workers that essential services are providing and one of the things that I really appreciate and every time I see people going out and clapping for healthcare workers as they're getting off their shift is a reminder that would really choosing to value is service. It's people who extending themselves in love and service and care towards others. Yeah so this is a form of distillation though right because when we when we when we talk about I mean. The process of distilling is a purification process. Right so it seems as if I think it's it is fair to say that all of us in whatever way have been forced by this moment to sort of really purify what it is that we value and then question or compare this our answers in this moment to what we were filling our lives with before. Is that what you're saying? That's exactly that's right and I think what I'm realizing. The more I listened carefully to people is there are many people who are saying yes we would all like to be able to get back to work particularly those who are out of work or those work has been diminished or have been furloughed but I think what we don't want to do is to get back to quote unquote normal because what we're realizing. Is that what passed as normal before was actually not serving all of us and what passed as normal before wasn't serving the whole of what it means to be human that we were caught up in this pace of life where remeasured are worth and our value by what we were producing. And I think we're trying to find a different way of living a different way of being. That would say no. Actually our lives have worth and dignity and depending on the language people WANNA use. It's because of the extent that we're able to love and care for one another. It's because of your soul is because you are a luminous being a child of God people have different languages for it but I think we want to get away from that hyper capitalist sense that my worth as a human being is measured through the dollar amount that I can generate for a corporation at this same time that yes of course we want to be able to get back to work and help people economically. Recover so then. Let's let's let's get down to essentials. These words distillation pure essential. They're gonNA come multiple times. I have this conversation. But but so. How does that how you're defining business or the problem of business is it? How are you defining it? You know it was actually very simple observation. Some years back That I kept asking my friends in a very casual sense. how are you And the response. I noticed that I got was not good or bad or angry or sad. It was just just nodding of the head. Oh you know. I'm so busy so busy so busy so busy so busy and no one looked happy when they said that they were so busy And it got me to sort of realize like. How did we end up like this? We don't we don't want to be like this we're supposed to be human beings not human doings And I realized that if I tap into the wisdom of my own tradition and I speak here as Muslim in many Muslim languages. When you ask someone how they are the question you literally ask them is how is your heart doing and I realized that when I ask people that question how is your heart or has your heart. In this moment people would pause and it would almost catch them and be like. Oh my heart yes I have a heart. Let me look into my heart and let me see how hard is doing. And it gave us an opportunity to move from this conversation of business and of action and activity to realizing that were supposed to live a balanced life of action on one side and repose on the other so so many questions to ask you professor Safi but In the short time before to take a quick break you're a scholar of Rumi defined inspiration in in room poetry. Remy's verse to help us understand this. I do I do. He speaks to me as he speaks to. So many of us and You know when I find myself under quarantine My Wife said well. Why don't we take this time to go deep into his teachings and this led me to Put this course together on illuminated courses. There's a poem that if you have time to read it for you We have about a minute to be perfectly frank. Because I don't want to rush you. Can IT FIT in a minute or should we do it when we come back from break? Stood when we come back that gives us a lot of Cure Antidote for this disease of business okay. I'm I'm glad that you said that because it would be a true. Shame for me to rush you in an hour where we're supposed to be considering the virtues of repose so amid Safi Professor Plum Studies at Duke University stand by for just a moment. We ARE TALKING ABOUT QUESTIONING. Business in the midst of this global pandemic whether are forced collective slowdown is actually making room for something else. Does this resonate with you? We'll be back. This is on point. WanNa add more positively to your podcast feed checkout kind world stories of extraordinary kindness and compassion. That's kind world. Subscribe now on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen. This is on point. I'm magnetic Roberti. We're talking this hour about whether our collective forced slowdown might be making room for something more. Something new not that any of us. Want to have to live under lockdown in a pandemic but this is also a moment to ask some questions about all the things that were keeping our lives extremely busy before we entered this historic moment and in order to help think those think through those questions. I'm joined today by omid. Safi he is a professor of Islamic studies at Duke University and founder of illuminated courses where he's currently teaching a class on Rumi and professor software. You were about to share with us some of roomies verse that that you find particularly inspiring at this moment. Yeah thank you so much So you know. We were speaking about distilling one's existence and the way that Rumi talks about. It is to go back to the roots of your being so it's a tree metaphor and to rejuvenate yourself by going back to the roots and so he has this one poem and that I've been discussing on these Illuminated courses and this one is called wherever you are so I'll just share this with you. He says wherever you are be right there fully present. Have your heart be wear. Your feet are wherever you are. Be The soul of that place and I think the reason that this spoke to me is I'm a teacher and I realized how many of my students and my co workers Talk about multitasking as the default mode being. They're reading and they're under phones. That might be watching something that might have headphones on and many of us can imagine what this multitasking looks like. But we don't have even a good word for the opposite of that. What would it look like to be single? Luridly present in the task. That were doing I was mentioning to a friend. A lot of us can think of days where you get up and you're on your computer and then lunchtime rolls around and you're like what have I done today. Yes whatever actually accomplish today and then you look. And there's like ten emails and fifty tabs that are open. But there's no sense of anything having been brought to fruition and sometimes conversations are like this you know we're sort of chatting with someone instead of really being present and I think that's what room is talking about is whatever we are. Whatever it is they were doing. In that moment have that task be would receives all of our mind all of our soul all of our glance. Whatever person were with in that moment treat them as the most important person in the world and this is the language that domestic issues. Have your heart be where your feet are And in some traditions in Buddhism for example people talk about this as mindfulness. And I think I wish the English language could become a little bit more capricious and borrow some of these words from for example. The Islamic tradition and have a word called harmfulness I I want us to have heartful existence where we are fully present to one another and then when that moment goes on then we move onto the next task and we'd be heartfully present there and so on instead of always being scattered brain and scattered attention and scattered hearted well. I would just like to know that that is a beautiful and worthy goal and at the same time though we have. I'm not a Luddite by any stretch of the imagination but we have modern life. That's With very powerful forces that are quite aligned against that that goal right I mean we the phrases via tension economy. Everyone is vying for your attention. It is being shattered every second bydesign absolutely and you know when the human attention becomes a commodity and it's something that is part of the market place Then people as you say are competing for it. I think what I'd like to do is to have us. Cherish our attention to have US cherish our presence and to say this is something really precious and I don't want to simply be casting away on the wind and the analogy that I give my friends and my students and this works for them is I ask them like you know observed themselves next time that they noticed the red battery light under phones coming on when they think their phones are about to die. It's almost like they go into this cosmic in existential state of panic because you know for them if their phones die they die They're just like frantically looking around for a place to recharge even if they have to sit on the floor next to some smelly bathrooms somewhere. They will sit there so they can recharge and I ask them like. Have you attempted to be as attentive to your own heart? Do you know when your heart has the red battery light on. And when you noticed that you're running on fumes do you know what to return to to rejuvenate yourself? So this is that going back to the roots and for for some people it might. There might be some people that when you're with them they fill you they rejuvenate you for some people that might be a place for others it might be a practice whatever it is find it and do it and do it again and again and again until it becomes a habit well so professor soft. If you just hang on here for a moment I want to open the door to another voice in this conversation and joining us from Dublin. Ireland is Brian O'Conner. He's a professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin and at the University Center for Ethics in public life and author of idleness a Philosophical Essay. A book that challenges the case against idleness. So professor O'Connor welcome to you. Brian O'Conner can you hear us? We're going to try to get him back on the line here so professor Safi let me. Just turn to our callers. Let's go to madeline. Who's calling from Baltimore Maryland? Madeline you're on the air so I was calling into. I think is a really interesting conversation about four slowing down. And it's definitely something I'm experiencing a moment. I just graduated from Nursing School and prior to nursing school. I was a total wild child like I use to hitchhike around and it was a musician and when I started nursing school like my schedule became tight and I became really tight and wound up. And just really hyper focused. And now that I've graduated and I'm waiting for my job to start. The process of unwinding has caused me like a lot of anguish and the transition was really hard. I had to call a suicide hotline last week. because I feel like my Dundee has totally been changed and I'm trying to figure out what is going on with myself but I've been rediscovering of my artistic endeavors so that's been helping me and I feel a lot better now but it's been really hard. Yeah Madeline don't hang up and first of all thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm glad that it thinks seem a little better now. But I'd like you to talk for a second with Professor Safi Professor Safi. I think Madeleine is saying. Many people are probably feeling that she talked about that. Sense of identity being broke down with the with the lack of activity absolutely and I'm so thankful that you have You've called in and I also just want to applaud you for having the courage to give voice to devante ability. You know we so often hide away from that. And if we can't face the suffering in our own self. Hauer we ever to confront somebody else's suffering And I'm also specially moved that You know your career path has been to go into nursing. I think this is one of the things that we notice. Is that so often? It is the people who spend their life providing care for other folks that themselves are also in need of being looked after so. We're not alone. And this is the strange part is that it is an age of physical distancing. But we're not meant to be alone so I think whether it is teachings or whether it's people I hope that you are doing. And I hope that everybody else is able to look at their own. Life's journey and think about who's loved them. Who's befriended them and thinking of love in a very expensive way not just dramatically Who who's taking care of you? Who is loved you and your life and it might be a grandparent. Might be neighbor might be a teacher. It might be a lover It might be a best friend. Might be a puppy And and to sort of return to These relationships and I do know that a lot of us are checking in so much more frequently with people who have have had loved us and have loved on us during the course of our life. Madeline what do you think about that? I think that it's interesting that That the topic of others was brought up like other people because positive interactions with other people is so fulfilling and grounding but being such a strenuous program really stripped away the The circle that I had one in my life and school was just really isolating. And now that it's gone. I'm realizing how isolated I am. So it's hard to rebuild that like you know I just don't know how well Madeline thank you for your call and I wish you the best best of luck maybe some of these basic steps. That professor Safi was talking about which might might be where you start so madeline. Thank you again for sharing your story. let's try now. I think we have professor. Brian O'Connor on the line again. He's a professor of philosophy at university. College Dublin Professor O'connor you with us. Yes I am wonderful. Sorry about the technical difficulties. It's a new consistent fact of life for us here on live radio in these times for you and forever. Well so you've been you've been hearing much of what Professor Safi has saying. And I wanted to start by asking you Professor O'connor you wrote this book idleness. The Philosophical Essay is idle missed. The opposite of business. I think so although not in any simple way because it's not always very clear that when we speak about idleness we speak about it in the same way. One extreme is is that I'd like attaching out doing nothing almost vegetating but the other version and I think possibly this is the one that may appeal to the imagination at the moment is a life where you're not dedicated to productivity. Where you sort of do your own thing and making your own day your own way as far as you know practically possible. And what does that? Yeah no no continue. Go ahead professor. I think I think I think you'd question asked me to say but go to say anyway. It was at that kind of day is one where I think. I think really good echo many things at home. It already said where you have a very different sense of the importance of productivity where you're no longer really measuring yourself in terms of your approach but a further thing emphasize here is very distinctive feature of contemporary. It's been developing over centuries but it's come to a completely abnormal novel. In recent times kind of business that dedicated to sort of making a name for oneself establishing an identity whether it'd be a social media identity a presence of personality or or professional one where visibility where relentless visibility is required. I think that's probably the most stressful thing that many people put themselves through his building a visibility which is highly dependent on whether anyone wants to look at you whether any wants to regard you as worth looking at that. I think I think an escape from that strikes me as a pretty liberating possibility liberating. Yes but also it's a rejection of centuries of religious cultural and economic norms in in the Western world. Professor O'Connor I mean we have an entire economy. That's founded on on on a notion that idle hands are the devil's workshop. So productivity is is indeed how people were measured yes. That's that's very true. But I think we have to distinguish between the kind of productivity that we recognize as important to keep our cells together you know to keep body and soul together to maintain the kind of an orderly society that kind of productivity is is there to stay and obviously that's the condition of human beings as creatures embodied creatures on the Earth. But there's another kind of work practice which seems to go well beyond that and I'm certain that the change we've seen since the middle of the twentieth century which is where the excess our surplus desire to work to be seen to be work to be marred for work so the sheer fact of being a worker becomes admirable in an above. What it is. That work needs to do In the past nobody was condemned for not working provided they were productive when they need it to be but in more recent decades kind of. What would you say mythologies ation of the work ethic which has never been greater inspired with the fact that we're now it's religious in the West as we used to be? This kind of so-called probably work at Marseille described. Seems to have gone to to wholly new high. So it's it's kind of an escape from that. Then they need to be seen and admired as somebody who who who works well even even above and beyond what's required for basic production professor. Safi your thoughts on that I think. Can he's exactly right in the sense that there is something about the current Economy and even the ways that it has crept into some of our religious language which have become some capitalistic in terms of their orientation. Their become market is that said drives us to a life that is all work and no rejuvenation all work and no contemplation And I WANNA just to remember that It's also possible to have a different series of metrics whereby remeasure fulfilled life and could be as simple as asking ourselves perpetually How deep is our love? And whom do we serve? I've rarely met somebody who has who wants to have written on their tombstone He was quite efficient in answering emails. but I think the way that people at the end of their life look back under life as having been a sweet life and a beautiful life it's directly related to how well they loved not just romantically but in all the expensive ways. And how did they also spend their life in service towards others so I think I think we are talking about a very. You're right? This is very counter cultural in today's world. But I also think it gives us the promise of far greater happiness. Well Omid Safi and Brian. O'conner hang on here for just a minute because there a lot more to discuss on this when we come back we are talking about whether this moment of forced slow down for most of us is making room to ask them questions about what was keeping us so busy before. We'll be back. This is on point need to escape the news for a moment checkout endless thread a podcast from Wbz you are and read it from mysteries to histories two stories that will remind you of our shared humanity. Subscribe to endless thread on Apple podcasts. Or WHEREVER YOU LISTEN. This is on point. I magnin shocker. Bardy tomorrow on the program. We're going to be taking a look. At innovation admits the corona virus pandemic and how ingenuity leadership and resources are being marshaled. For THE COMMON. Good from making more face masks to developing. Never before seen vaccine. So are you seeing innovation at work all around you? And how are you or your company innovating? Leave us a voicemail at six one seven three five three zero six eight three. We WanNa know what questions or thoughts you have about America's aspirations and capabilities for innovation in this pandemic again that six one seven three five three zero six eight three. That's for tomorrow's show and I just want to acknowledge that. It seems rather ironic that. I'm promoting that for tomorrow show because it's very activity and worked based our and today we're talking about pressing back pushing back against the cult of business in America and whether or not this four slowdown that we're all experiencing is actually allowing us to do that and joining us today for that. Conversation Omid Safi and Brian O'Conner and Professor Safi and O'Connor in effect. I don't actually see it as an irony that tomorrow we're going to be talking about innovation while today we're talking about harmfulness as as you were saying. Professor Safi because if both of you would allow me one moment to just bring my own personal experience into this delay. Bear my bare my soul here to the two of you. I I want to be honest and say that I struggled a little bit in my in my preparation for this conversation. Because I've marked my whole life by A sense of pride or desire to to do the work that I was in. I have been an M. engaged in that I've you know I've I've felt a sense and continue to feel a sense of. I don't know if accomplishment is the right word but meaning in working with great teams to put stories on the radio or helping my child learn how to read or to be active in my community. It seemed to be a very busy life on paper but it provided meaning. And if I if I may I would actually even quote Emily Dickinson. I was looking at a poem from from Dickinson where she wrote. I tie my hat. I crease my shawl. Life's little duties do precisely as the very least were infinite to me so I I guess I'm saying I still find meaning in a lot of my actions in a lot of my work in a lot of my business and I'm not quite sure there's anything wrong with that. So Professor Safi. What do you think you know? I'm I'm delighted that actually you find the work that you do meaningful and I would rejoice if everybody finds the work that they do to one to be one that gives their life. A sense of meaning I am never against the sense of living a meaningful life. I hope that work has dignity in whatever sense it is that we do. I think the distinction I'm trying to make is that. I'm not so persuaded that busy ness and meaningfulness are one and the same it's possible to be busy all the time but not necessarily being engaged in activities that are particularly meaningful and a lot of the work that is the most meaningful you know when you sit down with a loved one and you have your hand on their arm. And you're listening very attentively You may not look very busy in that moment. Even though it's the most meaningful thing that you could be doing so I would say the fact that your life is meaningful is wonderful and I think a lot of us myself included who come from immigrant backgrounds We've been raised to measure part of our contribution Through the extent to which we can make a meaningful difference to the society that we now call home. I just WanNa make sure that that doesn't come at the expense of reflection and the examined life socrates with call it that ultimately makes it worth living. We'll professor O'connor we put it this way. That sometimes I consider myself the most Protestant non Protestant in my belief in the Protestant work ethic. When you think about that I mean. It's it's true that some professions have a certain space of freedom which allows individuals to sort of take possession. Own Time Anyway. There's other walks of life. Don't so I'm not sure how much we can infer from the fortunate cases like yourself worthy babs myself and two. I worry I worry about that. That many of the idealization work on built on models are really not available to many people given the structure of industry and the interconnected ways in charge. Konami new to work. Those kinds of professions are are are sadly for the few Many others have kind of a a a much more controlled Park place and I think that makes that makes makes a great difference than we have to say that under the current crisis those are people who probably won't find much to be impressed by in our conversation. These are people. Who are you worried about? What's going to happen next? And I'm probably don't feel that is new space if they're lucky enough to be to be able to sustain themselves as one that can that can last forever. So many many of us are in the luxurious position of thinking. What can we learn from this and bring forward And if we have certain kinds of professions there's possibly a space for that kind of revision as we go forward. Lucky US Is All I can say. It will be wonderful if I can echo of your other guests that that's others had such such positions but we're not really structured to too often tool which is which is one of the nightmares far far world. And I absolutely agree with you on the fact that having the luxury to contemplate busy ness versus idleness is is a luxury In a privilege afforded to not enough people I mean we we start at. I'm not sure if you heard this professor o'connor but at the beginning of the conversation we did Professor Safi and I did did make that point and it's I'm glad you bring it bring it up again but so so let me ask you. Then though Professor O'connor does does this moment can this movement even for the people who do feel deeply concerned about their wellbeing about their future because the fourth slowdown is actually quite damaging to them in their families? Is it possible for? Where do they begin to to to find some comfort some solace in this? I'm not sure there's much I'm sure their main hope is that we we find some solution to the current crisis and we get we get the show back on on the road The the question is whether those who are fortunate enough not to have such great where he's coming. Perhaps I guess try to frame some of the experiences that we that that many have have gone through and also something that might be. Potentially you know Constructive in the future. I found that testimony that you broke out at the beginning of the show. Extremely moving I I listened to on with particular interest to the speaker from Brooklyn. It was a certain kind of anxiety in his voice. He was interested in what was going on around him. But but there was an exciting there about. Whether it's supposed to somewhere he could really go as you know as time moved moved on. I I. I'm worried that we might make might lead to very general and radical conclusions based on an extremely unnatural sort of crisis. Something that happened very suddenly By public policy decisions and that could be reversed and solve fairly quickly it. It's it's how much in a historical I walk up really is just right. And that's a that's a really really good point so professor. Safi let me ask you because I do wonder about this. If we are frank with each other many many people and I will include myself in. This yearn to go back to. This moment that we're in is not what we want. We yearn for the normalcy that we had before. Even if it was marked by this plague of dizziness forgive. I did not those terrible use of words but you know what I mean that that to professor O'Connor's point this is. This is an an abnormal moment that that people might welcome the return to the life. We had before where business was part of the mix. What do you think about that You got a excuse me because I'm a religion professor and I tend to think of life and reality religious terms And to begin with. I think you're always measure the sanity of situation. The compassion of a situation by the way that people on the margins are faring. And so I do ask myself that question. What does this mean about going back to? Something called normal when we don't have health care universal health care and now we're seeing the ways in which the health and the well-being and indeed the very life of all of us is interwoven. An interconnected so what I always tell people And this is slightly ironic. Language is That what I really hope we are experiencing And this is a twinkle in my eye is an apocalypse but what I mean by that is not apocalypse in the sense of the end of the word world but rather the original meaning of the word apocalypse which is an unveiling. I hope that we're having details of illusion removed from us that the old way that which we thought of as normal was actually the best way. I do think there is a better way possible. I do think there's enough food there's enough healthcare and ultimately enough love and dignity for all of us but we're not gonna do that going back to the old structures as tempting as it is. My hope is that something about the unsettling aspect of this moment allows us to connect the inner to the outer to allow each of us to go deep inside and find out what makes us human and then to bring that outward and to figure out how do we take care of all of us Because I don't know that we have another option well so professor. O'connor just briefly. Do you think that this sort of moment of incense innocence force decompression that we're experiencing could again? What by the reduction of the Din of the business that was dominating so many people's lives create the space for that kind of change. Professor Safi is talking about. Obviously I would welcome that but I have my doubts on the reason for that is that we haven't gotten to the place we've been in by accident. It has been pretty much a case of a process of social social evolution of education of training of socialization. But that is very deeply ingrained in us. Very deeply ingrained. I mean when you think about one of the complaints that many people have under. The current lockdown is boredom and boredom is always a symptom of not knowing how to spend your time in a way that satisfied and this is because people haven't really had the experience of having to spend so much time using their own initiative. We've been well trained to undertake tasks to move to each task. That's put in front of and successful people are those who who who identified the tasks and get them done quickly and impressively but we're very very much socialized as creatures of a certain time type. I guess I wonder whether when all of this is over it won't be a little bit like those Thomas's people make on vacation thing. Our I never wanted to go back to where I'm I'm going to read novels every day. From now on and it and it just drifts away over time this is. I. I'm not saying this. Because that's the human beings naturally are I don't know what human beings naturally are. I suspect that we've been on naturally socialized to be busy though And I think that's going to be a generational process if we're ever going to reverse that well Bryan O'Connor professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin and at the University Center for Ethics in public life and author of Idleness Philosophical Essay. Professor O'connor thank you so much for joining us today. Margaret Pleasure and professor soft. We've got about three minutes left to you. I was wondering if you could fit in another roomy poem for a parting. Thought absolutely you can never have enough Roomy poems in your life so This is one of my very favorite ones. And it's one that I think really addresses this question of suffering which so many people find themselves in And it's called. The wound is where the light enters you. The wound is where the light enters you and it sounds a little bit like that. Wonderful Leonard. Cohen Song That anthem that has the line. There's a crack and everything that's where that's how the light gets in And it's not surprising since letting was such a huge fan of of Rumi called him the greatest religious poet. So here's the says trustee wound to a skilled healer. You cannot see the ugliness of your own wounds flies hover over them your thoughts. Your wound is your hearts state. Unelucidated the healer. This sage puts a bandage on your wound. The pain is gone. You think you healed all by yourself but know this. The healing was from the light. The wound is where the light interview. The wound is where that light intersts. You I think the reason that that speaks to me so much is I know that. So many of us feel like wounded beings and so many of us are actually wounded and there is suffering. I hope that through the suffering of this moment through the reflection and our response and our love and care for one another that there is light that also enters us that we're able to find out ways of living a more meaningful more sustainable kinder and gentler life that supports all of us will meet. Safi professor of Islamic studies at Duke University and founder of illuminated courses where he's currently teaching a class on Rumi Professor Safi. Thank you so much for joining us today. I and by the way I should know. Today's the first day of Ramadan. So an especial. Thanks for you for taking the time to be with us on on this first day of Ramadan professor. Thank you so much well on point is produced by Anna Bowman Melissa Egan Eileen Amata Liam knocks donal sonus West. Martin Hillary mcquilken James. Ross Dorje. Shamar Tim Skoog Grace. Tatler Adam Waller and Sydney Wertheim are co Captains Graham Griffith and JEB sharp. I magnin shocker. Bharti this is on point

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