Doing Vs. Being

There is a way for us to differentiate satisfactorily between our being and our doing.  My son gave me some years ago, after I had been released from my drivenness to do, a most delightful coffee mug.  The inscription reads:

To do is to be –Sartre

To be is to do — Aristotle

To be or not to be — Shakespeare

do be do be do — Sinatra

We had heated discussions about the relationship between being and doing, and I think we never came to a meeting of the minds.  But this humorous mug has given me many inner chuckles.

In social settings we seem unable to find the words to ask another about the current state of his being, the health of his spirit, the care of his soul.  All that seems too personal and private.

So we ask, “What are  you doing these days? Or if we are just introduced to someone, “What do you do?”

Our identity seems so tied to what we do.  Others identify us in that manner and we see ourselves in that light as well.

When we let ourselves become centered in our being, we realize we are so much more  than our activities.  We are a gold mine of insights and ideas, truth and compassion that is far more than we can ever act on.  When we regularly get in touch with our center, it becomes strengthened in a way that more and more keeps us centered–no matter what we are doing.

And this strengthened center is then able without loss of character to inform and affect all our actions.

Ann Glover O’Dell  11-29-2015