Are You Busy?

Are You Busy?

I posted the above quote from Henry David Thoreau on Instagram today.  It makes me think, and I like it.

We’re all busy.  So are the ants.  We run and hurry here to there, then back again.  Traffic, traffic, ever late.  Stressed.  Harried. Scrambled.

Stop a minute.



Yes, we’re all busy.  But are we busy on the things that really matter?  What have you done in the past 24 hours that has true meaning?  The past week?  Have you tried to intentionally seek out something to spend your time on that’s really important, or are you just running through your “To Do” list doing “stuff”.  Have you experienced the deep satisfaction that comes from doing something that helps someone else?

A few days ago, I participated in a Habitat For Humanity build.  My company has a “Month Of Service” during which our employees around the world are encouraged to dedicate a day to service.  It’s pretty impressive what we accomplish, from the USA to Brazil to Korea to Germany. The Habitat build is an organized event, with my company sending enough volunteers to complete an entire house in 7 days.  I was there on Day 6, and we worked on the interior of the home.

I learned how to hang doors, spread some caulk, and built a railing on her deck.  (I was behind the camera, but this was another “door guy” who had also never hung a door).

Habitat build

More importantly, I met the soon to be homeowner, Joycelyn, and her 20-something year old daughter.  She was introduced at the start of our day, and gave a small speech telling us her story and how much the home and our efforts meant to her.  She worked alongside us, every day of the week.

I thought of Joycelyn and her daughter as I hung the doors throughout her house.

I thought of how many times she’d be opening and closing the door I was hanging at that minute.  How it would become part of her life.

Her First Home.

After a difficult life, she was on the right path.  She had succesfully completed the exhaustive selection criteria required to be selected as a Habitat homeowner, and had proven steady employment and classroom aptitude in budgeting and getting her life in order.  She was required to invest 250 hours in building the home, attending classes, and demonstrating a commitment to turning her life around.  She had taken a class on healthy cooking.  Over the next year, she would be taking ongoing classes on home ownership and running her family’s finances.

According to the Habitat For Humanity Annual Report, hers is but 1 in a sea of 1.6 million lives that have been touched by Habitat For Humanity within the PAST YEAR!

And I was but 1 in a sea of 2 million volunteers who have contributed their time and efforts to Habitat’s cause since it was started 35 years ago.


Are You Busy?

This week, I made a difference in the life of a family who’s digging their way out, and heading in an exciting new direction.

I can think of few things in which I could have better invested my time.

Find a way to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Trust me, you’ll be made rich in the effort.


  1. Worked with Habitat as electrician, carpenter, plumber and several other things. Restored one house hit by tornado. Yes hanging a door, putting in a stove vent and knowing all you helps a person have their own roof over their head with sweat equity.

  2. I love this!!! Oh what a different world this would be if more of us were looking around to find something meaningful to spend a bit of our time on rather than busy stuff that makes no real difference in the world. Thank you for this insight into the Habitat for Humanity process and thank you for nudging me to give some thought to what I am so busy doing with my time.

  3. This is great Fritz! Giving of your time and resources to help others isn’t just a gift for the person receiving but for the giver as well! I’m glad you got to experience this pleasure!

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