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The World is Too Much With Us.

April 24, 2012

200 years ago, William Wordsworth wrote that “the world is too much with us.”

I read his poem of the same name to suggest that our view of nature is obscured by our preoccupation with other things.

I agree with his observation.

As are the disputants with whom I work in mediation, we are all so absorbed by our own lives – by our stresses, commitments, responsibilities, concerns, aspirations, goals, accusations, defenses, justifications, anger, fears, guilt, time schedules, to-do lists, e-mails, text messages, internet connections, whatever – that we truly do not have time “to smell the roses” or to take stock of ourselves, those we love, or our surroundings.

I have previously written of the beauty of nature as seen from my window.  This gladdens my heart but it is not enough.

I suggest a short get-away to another place, either solo or with the one or ones you love most.

I did the latter this weekend.

Going away is restorative of our senses, our well being, our abilities to cope with the stresses of our lives.  We have a better view afterwards of ourselves, those we love, and our surroundings.  We have more perspective.

Of course, where you go might make a difference.

We went to a family Simcha (celebration) in Atlanta.

Aside from the usual (and some unusual) travel challenges and anxieties, the weekend was joyous and well worth the trip.

To do this, however — i.e., to go for a family event — you really need to love your extended family and all their wonderful attributes and their mishegas.

(They themselves could be the stressers, you know.)

Fortunately I do love this family.

But if this is not for you, go someplace else and do something else.

It need not be expensive, just different and outside the norm of the daily hamster-wheel of life.

We all need it, for ourselves and for each other…

For, truly, “the world is too much with us, late and soon.”

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From → Bubbe Meises, Stories

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