Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).
In February, 2017, a Harvard Business School article claimed lack of leisure time is America's newest status symbol. If you can't afford a vacation or even a break to catch your breath, it shows you are a hot commodity.
Wealth used to imply leisure, but not today. Thanks to 24/7 connectedness and increased competition, people are online and on-the-job 24/7--and proud of it. What a sad commentary on life.
Death by Overwork HBS noted this is mainly an American issue--though Japanese of course work longer hours than we do--or they did until 2015. Japanese even have a word for "death by overwork": Karōshi, or 過労死. But unlike Americans, Japanese aren't proud of having no life, and they certainly don't aspire to it. Japanese are stuck with it, but as of 2015, Americans work longer hours than Japanese--and we're proud of it?
U.S. Death by Overwork. Not surprisingly, Americans are now dying from overwork--especially interns on Wall Street and in hospitals, who work 80 to 100 hours per week. You'd think the medical industry would have more sense than to put patients' lives in the hands of interns who haven't slept for 40 hours.
Here in China, by the way, 600,000 Chinese die annually from overwork--1,644 deaths every day of the year (and forget the notion of laid back Mexicans and their long siestas; Mexicans work the longest hours in the world).
The price? 55 = 1/3 > 40. Perhaps Americans embrace the "'No Life' Life" because we feel we have no choice, but there's a heavy price to pay. In 2015, research showed that people working 55 hours per week were 1/3 more likely to have a stroke than those working 40 hours. Is it worth it?
Solomon would have said it's all vanity. It's also insanity--especially for believers.
On November 24, 2008, I posted on Our Daily Noodles "3 Reasons Why 6 > 7" to show that not only do we NOT need to live such a lifestyle to survive, but also that we can get much more done in 6 days than 7 when we live in our Father's strength and not just our own.
As Lily Tomlin once said, "The problem with the rat race is even if you win, you're still a rat." Get off the treadmill! Or as the Chinese have said for centuries, "Don't view the flowers while galloping past on horseback" ( 走马看花 ; basically the same as our "stop and smell the roses").
Or as Christ put it, "Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that not even Solomon in all of his glory was arrayed as one of these."
The Most Successful People Set Limits! If Trust in our Father isn't enough to get you off the treadmill, then consider this: much research has shown the most successful people check email only once or twice a day, limit their use of social media (or don't use it as all), and take time off for hobbies! In the midst of the war, Churchill took off each afternoon to paint. A Hong Kong billionaire takes off every afternoon to go fishing.
It's your choice, but if you don't set limits, you will die early. Is it worth it to you, and to your family?
Because things are even worse today than when I posted "3 Reasons Why 6 > 7" in November, 2008, I repost it below.
Blessings from Amoy! Dr. Bill
3 Reasons Why 6 > 7 (Nov. 24, 2008)"The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27
“Viewing flowers on horseback" 走马看花 Chinese proverb.
The Sabbath: 3 Reasons why 6 is Greater than 7
In "The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism", Max Weber wrote of Christians' drive for success but he neglected that Christianity is also the only religion that drives us to rest, because is we obey God we can accomplish more in six days than in seven.
With over 260 grad students and no assistant, plus my many other responsibilities, and various works, I am busy. But in spite of this, I almost never work on the Sabbath--and if I have to work on the Sabbath for some reason, I make up for it by taking off another day.
I do this for three reasons.
One: Rest: my body, mind and soul need all need it.
Two: Reward: the Sabbath is a weekly foretaste of the rewards promised by our Father. If we don't stop to enjoy, we are racing through life like the Chinese viewing flowers on horseback.
Three: Trust: resting, in spite of my hectic schedule, demonstrates my faith that my Father will multiply my labor so that I can bear more fruit in six days than seven.
1. Rest. We were created both for work and rest. For example, consider sleep, which is our Daily Sabbth. No one really understands why we must sleep 1/3 of our life away, but we do. Those who do not sleep (there are some) die early. Those who sleep too little fall ill. Rest is necessary for both body and mind.
Shakespeare wrote in MacBeth:
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
D.H. Lawrence wrote that sleep is how God recreates us nightly:
And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
Adequate sleep prolongs our lives:
"Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed." ~Arthur Schopenhauer
2. Reward Our mind, body and soul need rest weekly as well as daily. Many speak of eternal rewards, but even as sleep is the "little slice of eternal rest" now, so the Sabbath is a weekly foretaste of eternal enjoyment. Sleep is a nightly inner renewal; the Sabbath allows us to enjoy a weekly outer renewal.
God Himself gave us the example. He created heaven and earth in six days but on the seventh He rested, to enjoy what the fruits of his labor. We need the rest, and we need the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We rest each Sabbath, and enter each week a renewed creation.
Breaking the Sabbath Breaks You Jesus warned against making the Sabbath a mere religious ritual. "Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." But he never said we could break the Sabbath with impunity. Breaking the Sabbath will break us, even as going without nightly sleep will destroy our health and, eventually, curtail our lives.
3. Faith. In this hectic day and age, many of my friends work around the clock, seven days a week, and still can't keep up. That is because they work from their own strength and not the greater Inner Strength our Father gives us within--or that fount has dried up because they have not taken their nightly and weekly rest. Ironically, many say they are working 24/7 for God, but if you are driven instead of led, you might want to consider who is in the driver's seat.
Success requires 1) Direction, and 2) Energy to persevere.
If we do not stop, if we do not take the time to hear that still small voice, we will go our own way on our own steam--and we will run out of steam.
Why 6 > 7? When I was in business I learned the hard way that I could accomplish much more in six days than in seven. I learned that I could succeed where other much more capable people failed when I was led, not driven, and they were driven but not led.
Plan to Rest It does take faith to stop, but come Saturday night, I put the computer away and don't work until Monday, and if something is urgent, I trust my Father to work it out, or help me avoid getting in such a bind in the first place. This, of course, requires planning as well as faith.
And I continually remind myself that Sabbath-Keeping is not a ritual for show but a gift to grow, and if I trust my Father, and dismount long enough to smell the roses in the garden He has given me, He will do more through me than I could ever do through myself.
With God, 6 > 7.
Without God, even 7 is not enough.<6 7="0.">6>
Dismount that galloping horse and smell the roses.
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. ~John Steinbeck The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener
School of Management, Xiamen Universitywww.amoymagic.com
Amazon eBook "Discover Xiamen"
Amazon eBook "Discover Xiamen"
Bill Brown Xiamen University www.amoymagic.com