“…in a day when doing something as soon as possible is the standard response to perceived problems, slowing down may be the best way to move ahead.” — Mark A. Noll
Sometimes, action is urgently needed and haste is imperative. However, I suspect that most of the urgency we feel about everyday stresses and conflicts is unnecessary, even unwise.
There was a time, not so long ago, when few people other than physicians on emergency call wore beepers. And just a couple of decades before that, even physicians were not available at the touch of a few buttons. Now everybody is on call, all the time, to whomever has their cell phone number. How did life become so frantic?
In his illuminating book Traffic, Tom Vanderbilt speculates that the few minutes saved by chronic lane-changers will most likely take more time than that off the end of the hectic, rushed life. The same could be said about many other forms of rushing around. At some point, perhaps we should stop to ask what we are gaining by putting so much pressure on ourselves.
I’m not saying that deadlines don’t matter (in fact, I’m dealing with several big ones related to school, as I take a few minutes to write this). I’m only admitting that I almost never help myself when I try to go too quickly. Maybe it’s because the weather has finally turned hot, or maybe it’s age or exhaustion. But more and more, I find myself simply unable to speed through life.
That’s a good thing, I think. I like to take my time and enjoy the view. How about you? Take a few minutes to send me a description of some everyday sight you might not notice if you were hurrying to somewhere else. I’ll keep the tea warm for us to share. On second thought, maybe iced would be better about now?