What We Should All Be Doing This Memorial Day Weekend



Reflect. Remember. Rest. Recharge.

That’s what I want to do this Memorial Day weekend because I feel that everything is moving way too fast — the news, our politics, our conversations, our relationships, and our lives.

When everyone is in such a hurry, balls inevitably get dropped. Hurtful things get said. Personal and political misunderstandings occur. Crazy things happen, and no one takes the time to say, “Hey, wait a minute…”

What are we doing? What are we thinking? Where are we going? Let’s stop. Let’s rest a minute. Let’s reflect on what is happening now, and on what has happened. Let’s take a beat and gather ourselves so that we can refocus, recharge and move forward in a more unified way.

I mean this sincerely and seriously. It’s time for all of us — regardless of our age, our gender, or our political leanings — to be more conscious, more considerate, and more compassionate, not to mention less angry and less judgmental.

Now, before you scream, “How can she talk about resting when bombs are going off that are killing young children? When politicians are threatening to cut programs that for many mean the difference between life and death? When the ice caps are melting? When Washington is embroiled in a who knew what, when? When the world feels like it’s coming apart at the seams?”

Well, I would suggest that this is exactly the moment when we need to rest.

Now, resting isn’t something I grew up with. In fact, I think it’s fair to say it was scorned upon in my home. If either of my parents saw anyone resting, well let’s just say…no one would have dared to try.

But, I’ve come to realize that resting is of value. It doesn’t mean you are weak or too tired to go on. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or that you’re un-American (even if Americans like to think of themselves as the hardest, most competitive and most driven people on the planet).

Resting is important. It’s important for your mind, your body, and your heart. When one rests, one can recharge and refocus. One can dream. One can tap into their creative spirit and into their consciousness. One can be at one with one’s self, with one’s own divinity, and with one’s own purpose and mission.

The truth is, I’ve run through a lot of my life, only to discover that the most successful people get more done when they slow down and rest. (Author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang has some amazing insights into this in his new book. You can read an excerpt below.)

When people rest, they are kinder. They are more thoughtful, they are more focused, and they are more at peace with themselves and those around them. They are also better parents, better partners and better professionals. People who make time to rest get stuff done — and they do it without creating carnage in their wake.

So, on this Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial start of summer), I’m going to make rest part of my time off. In fact, I’m going to make it part of my summer and my life. (That is, after we come together next Sunday for Move For Minds. If you haven’t signed up yet, please join us in one of our 8 cities. Help us make a difference in the fight to save our minds!)

I’m also going to spend time this weekend remembering all of the brave military men and women who gave their lives for our country. I want to pay my respects to them and express my gratitude to the families that get left behind and who too often struggle alone to put the pieces back together (like our incredible Architect of Change of the Week Taryn Davis, a widow who has devoted her life to helping military spouses find hope and healing after loss).

I’m also going to spend time reflecting on the legacy of my uncle, President John F. Kennedy. It’s his 100 birthday tomorrow and his daughter, my cousin Caroline, has done such an amazing job helping people remember what her father stood for, what he fought for, and why his words still have such an impact today.

Caroline’s video says it all. It makes you think, “What do I stand for? What am I doing for my country? How am I giving back? How am I serving the common good?” (Complaining or railing on Twitter doesn’t count as serving the common good, by the way.)

So, before you say to yourself “I can’t rest. I don’t have time to reflect or recharge. I have too much to do…” Take it from me (someone who would have said those same words a few years ago). We are all going to end up in the same place, so what’s the rush?

Please rest. Please reflect on who and what is important to you. Please reflect on why you do what you do.

Recharge your batteries. Refocus your resolve. Remember that you are among the blessed. You are still here, so you still have a shot to make an impact with your life and benefit others. Why not take it?

Rest now. Because, trust me, we still have a lot of work to do.


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