One of the first things we learn in school is how to draw a line. We also learn at a very young age how to color inside the line, and as we grow older we study about wars that killed millions of people, and even civilizations that fell to the ground simply because nations crossed their lines, whether they are lines of ethics, geography, or simple human decency.  However, it is funny to think that all these teachings about lines still make us unable to draw lines in our own lives.  

With smart phones, we still get emails about work on weekends and after working hours, while during working hours we get messages from friends who are also supposedly work. We could be at a wedding yet we erase the line between the real and the virtual world because we are busy posting photos of the bride, the groom, the family, and even the food we are eating at this event on social media. An argument at work with a colleague can seep into our outing with friends, and our outing with friends can seep into our conversations with colleagues. Our moods spill into our Facebook status, and our Facebook status seeps into our face to face conversations.

At first the erasing of these lines may seem harmless, but in reality it makes us more exhausted than we need to be. But yet we still erase these lines because society has taught us to believe that it is attractive to be busy and important , and that responding to our work emails while out at the movies is normal. The reality is that this is not normal at all. In fact, such actions makes us dull and more importantly tired. Society has taught us that it is ok to ramble on about our work to people not working with us, and has even called doing so passion, when in reality we need to stop and just look at the expressions of disinterest on our listeners faces.

We need to remember that some of the biggest disasters in life have been caused by the crossing of boundaries. After all, isn’t a flood really the cause of water crossing the lines of a river bank? Similarly, if we allow the lines to disappear between our personal , professional, and social lives we will have an overflew of emotions, and a flood of reactions that leads to exhaustion.

So let us go back to this very simple lesson we learned at school and let us draw lines. Let us draw lines between our personal and professional lives where work stays at work and family is family, and friends are friends. Maybe there was a reason why so much effort was made into us learning to color inside the lines. After all, the drawing looks much prettier that way, and similarly our life will look more peaceful if we stay in the lines.

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