Measuring Our Lives by Productivity

Measuring Our Lives By Productivity Is A Killer!

    Around 3:AM on Tuesday night, my phone rang, and Jimmy was at the door requesting some socks and food.

   In reality, he simply wanted someone to listen to him. And so for the next hour, I listened. Jimmy is 50 and has lived on the streets, in and out of jail for thirty-one years.

    Alan Watts tells us to, “Stop measuring your days by degrees of productivity and start experiencing them by degrees of presence.”

    Listening, being present in the moment, without judgment, is the greatest gift we can give each other.

    To place our expectations on others is a “killer”, we find ourselves failing every time, but to listen is life-giving, for the person finds acceptance and love, and we find reciprocation in care as well.

    Each of our lives is a journey, we each have to find our way. We make choices that can not be fixed easily or not at all, and we become tired, want to give up, but when we can sit for an hour with a listener, who can simply be present, it revives us, keeps us going in the face of difficult circumstances.

    Mother Janet Erskine Stuart once commented:

“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, and transformation. It is continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, teaching you to see clearly and deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition.”

    In listening, we allow others to follow their path, and we journey with them for a moment our shared path. 

    Change and transformation can not often be measured, and so in listening, we are planting seeds of care, and compassion– those seeds will blossom, and we may not know it, but they blossom and come to flower in the lives of those we listen to.     People who have listened to me, former pastors and teachers, had no idea where I would be going, but they listened, and hopefully, I am coming into full blossom.

    Productivity leads to our own sense of failure, when others do not meet our expectations, and leads to the failure of others when they can not meet our goals for them. Productivity is a killer.

    It is not so much what we say or do that makes changes in others, but who we are.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)


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