Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Minute of Margin

I first read one of Dr. Swenson's books back in October of 2010. You can read that review here. I recently finished "A Minute of Margin." The format of this book consists of 180 two-page reflections.

In the introduction, Dr. Swenson writes, "Margin is a space, specifically the space between our load and our limits. It is this space that guarantees sustainability. It is in this space where healing occurs, where are batteries are recharged, where our relationships are nourished and where wisdom is found. Without margin, both rest and contemplation are theoretical concepts, unaffordable and unrealistic."

To me, the overall message of the book is to work hard but not exhaustively, to value relationships over activities and to slow down and leave space for the unexpected blessing of free time. I highlighted a lot of great quotes from the book, but this was one of my favorites.
"Seek out only the level of complexity that you need and will use. When possible, encourage simplicity as an antidote to complexity. This requires specific intention and is much more difficult than it might seem but often very rewarding. Any third-rate engineer or researcher can increase complexity, wrote economist E.F. Schumacher, but it takes a certain flair of real insight to make things simple again."

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