Life without Engagement

It was a xmas holidays some years back, I was lying in my bed utterly exhausted. Tears crowded in the corners of my eyes from just thinking about emails flowing in, someone sending a WhatsApp message to my phone, or – THE HORROR – social media timelines ticking their constant stream of things I should be aware of. I thought I would never again be engaged in anything outside salaried work.

I stayed out for a while. Focused on my close ones, on the garden and flowers, on issues immediately next to where I live, and then slowly, a project came to mind. An event I’d like to help out with seemed like a good idea, a situation that just needed a few emails…Before long, I was back in my engaged life.

I call it my engaged life, because it is the life where I volunteer my time, effort, and best ideas for the benefit of the community where I live. It goes beyond my little garden, my family, and even my city. It goes beyond donating a pile of money. My engagements are – like they should – built on rather lofty and grand goals like CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE THINK ABOUT POLITICS, or BRINGING ART TO THE MASSES, or CREATING FUN JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE and so on.

My engaged life is often the last thing I think of before going to sleep and the first thing I think about waking up. I believe my engagement is what gives my life meaning, excuse the pretentious language. On a practical note, it creeps into my to-do-list, has taken over my inbox, and it stresses me out, often on a weekly basis. I then complain, sleep, and start my engaged life over once again.

What engages you?