Do Less Be More  by Rebecca Watson for Think Simple Now

Several years ago I lived with a good friend who spoke English as her third language. While she spoke fluently after years of experience, there was one phrase I used that she had trouble grasping at first: Just be.

As in, “After we finish grocery shopping, let’s go to the beach and just be.” She’d always want to finish the sentence. “Just be … relaxing. Just be … writing.”

When I explained what I meant, that I would really just like to sit, observe and exist, without any expectations, she was delighted.

This, she declared, was a very un-American, very un-Western thing to do, which would make sense that why after fifteen years of learning English she’d never heard the phrase.

I read once that we’re called human beings, not human doings, and so I’ve tried in the last several years to just be on a daily basis.

It isn’t easy in a world where we’re constantly plugged in, where calendars beg to be filled and obligations loom around every corner. But it’s not impossible either, and it’s totally worth it.

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