Burn out or Rust out?

Do you plan to “burn out” or “rust out’?

This question was posed to some students recently. The answers were far more varied than I had imagined. Yet, each one gave convincing rationale for their answers.

For those living in ambivalence, not knowing who they could count on at any given minute, the burn out factor was the choice. They weren’t sure if life today would be the same life tomorrow, so they wanted to experience as much as they could as the moment allowed. The goal seemed to be to take things to warp speed in the fast lane; to stuff as much cool, fun, risky, crazy, wacky, and scary into the present. High fives were flying all over the place in this group of teens, as many were in agreement it was the only way to live.

One small hand rose to offer a reason to want to rust out. This young lady had been one of the most present for much of the day. Asking and answering. Refuting and debating. Yet, she explained that she would want, “at any given moment, on any given day” to know she belonged to a group that she could count on when the chaos began. Her view was that life was sometimes moving too fast, and slowing it down made it more manageable for her. Rusting out, if that meant slowing down to take in each moment, was her preference.

Faces in the crowd sobered. One by one, the burn out group jumped over to the rust out group.

A change in perspective is refreshing.

How many times do we stop, in the middle of our busyness, to say thank you for the busyness? Because, after all, don’t we want to be there in the first place? What is the alternative? Borningness?

But. Is it?

Is it really?

Sit down and make a mental list of thankfulness.

It just takes a minute.

Now decide if the exercise is worth the time.

Thanks for listening.

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