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Perry Smith

Slow Is Good

"All over the world, people are so caught in running that they forget to take advantage of the beauty around them. We become so accustomed to speeding ahead we rob ourselves of joy."
- Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

We seem to be in a world that demands we do everything faster and faster. We've learned that slow is bad and fast is good. But, the detrimental effects of life in the fast lane seem to outweigh the benefits. We need to respect our most basic needs. We have a right to enjoy life. We were born with the ability to sense when we need to sleep, eat, play, and rest. A lot of us have lost the capacity to sense what we need because we have been encouraged to treat our true needs as the enemy for so long. False needs have displaced the true.

We need to be physically and mentally healthy above all else. But, we are frequently rewarded for discarding our concerns about our well-being. We are encouraged to construct our lives in such way that we spend them running quickly from one task to another with time for nothing else. This is life as a series of tasks to be completed. All the while, we wonder why something seems to be missing. Perhaps there is more required for a fulfilling life than completing tasks.

When was the last time you enjoyed the taste of a strawberry without thinking about what you would do next? Did you have a cell phone conversation while driving to save time even though you know that to do two things at once generally means doing two things poorly? Do you hate the beautiful sound of birds waking you up early in the morning because you ignored your inborn signal to go to bed hours before you actually did? Do you return from vacation more tired than when you left? I can think of more examples that suggest that we have learned to replace the truly fulfilling things in life with the unfulfilling. Can you?

Our priorities need to be reorganized. We're not machines designed to do repetitive tasks mindlessly for the duration of our lives. We need to honor our innate desire for the enjoyment of life and understand that substitutes for true fulfillment don't work. We need to closely observe whatever is happening in the moment because that is where our life and our potential joy is; in the now. We need to listen to our inner signals and respond. And, in order to hear our inner selves tell us what we need, we need to slow down.

The links on this page point to sites which support the idea that a slower life is a better life. I hope you find them to be interesting and helpful.

In Praise Of Slowness
In Praise Of Slowness
by Carl Honore

Slow Food(The Case For Taste)
by Carlo Petrini, et al

The Slow Food Guide to New York City: Restaurants, Markets, Bars (Slow Food Guides)
by Patrick Martins & Ben Watson