“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: 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." [Thomas Merton]
The most powerful, and at times most self-sabotaging word in the English language is "yes". Our hyper-connected world tugs at our heart as we bear witness to catastrophes, atrocities, and injustice that call to our humanity and awaken a "frenzy of activism". Thomas Merton reminds us of the importance of not over committing ourselves, and of the need for the time and the space to nourish that within us which ultimately brings forth the fruit of our humanity.