Monday, February 22, 2010

In Praise of Slowness

Getting back into a work schedule, I feel I'm running from one part of my day to the next, waking, breakfast, walking a mile to work or waiting for the bus, work, walking home, an hour of errands, dinner, bed. Where is the time for woolly, creative thinking? I have to find it, make time for it. I pulled out the book In Praise of Slowness for a bit of a reminder.

"The spirit, by its very nature, is Slow. No matter how hard you try, you cannot accelerate enlightenment. Every religion teaches the need to slow down in order to connect with the self, with others and with a higher force. In Psalm 46, the Bible says: 'Be still then, and know that I am God.'"

Slow Food: "...the movement stands for everything that McDonald's does not: fresh, local, seasonal produce; recipes handed down through the generations; sustainable farming; artisanal production; leisurely dining with family and friends. Slow Food also preaches 'eco-gastronomy' — the notion that eating well can, and should, go hand in hand with protecting the environment. At its heart, though, the movement is about pleasure. ... There is something in the nature of cooking and eating together that forms a bond between people. It is no accident that the word 'companion' is derived from Latin words meaning 'with bread.'"

Slow Cities: "... a Slow City is more than just a fast city slowed down. The movement is about creating an environment where people can resist the pressure to live by the clock and do everything faster. ... Despite their pining for kinder, gentler times, the Citta Slow campaigners are not Luddites. Being Slow does not mean being torpid, backward or technophobic. ... A Slow City asks the question: Does this improve our quality of life?"

Slow Thinking: "True, the brain can work wonders in high gear. But it will do so much more if given the chance to slow down from time to time. Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively. ... Fast thinking is rational, analytical, linear, logical. It is what we do under pressure, when the clock is ticking; it is the way computers think and the way the modern workplace operates; it delivers clear solutions to well-defined problems. Slow Thinking is intuitive, woolly and creative. It is what we do when the pressure is off, and we have the time to let ideas simmer at their own pace on the back burner. It yields rich and subtle insights."

(From In Praise of Slowness, by Carl Honoré)

Photo from A Backyard Wedding,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I'm always telling myself to slow down, but it's so difficult. There's always pressure to do things quickly. I really like how slowness is presented here.