Slow down to experience more

I came across this article not that long ago that I think is good to pause and share.  I had bookmarked it before and only managed to read it in its entirety today (a day that’s a bit of a break for many–sort of).

The article is an excerpt by Jay Walljasper from the book Less is More–a compilation of essays on the simple living movement.  I came across the article from

It seems these days and for quite some time, many of us are in a revved up state most of the time as we rush around and multi-task in our work lives and day-to-day lives as we look forward to those little breaks of one or two weeks where we can chill and take vacation, go to the cottage, go on a retreat, do less, hang out and catch up with friends/family.

With the ongoing fast pace of things, we really do have to make a conscious, proactive effort to slow down.  The article indicates that this fast pace is not necessarily due to technology but economics…and our monoculture of speed.  It states that it is “ironic because speed has always been promoted as a way to help us achieve mastery over the world.”

As the German environmental thinker Wolfgang Sachs  stated in his report: “In a fast-paced world we put a lot of energy into arrivals and departures and less into the experience itself. Raising kids, making friends, creating art all run counter to the demand for speed.”

There’s also a great quote in the article from (Environmental Activist) Jeremy Rifkin’s 1987 book Time Wars: “We have quickened the pace of life only to become less patient. We have become more organized but less spontaneous, less joyful. We are better prepared to act on the future but less able to enjoy the present and reflect on the past.”

The article also quotes Ezio Manzini (another contributor to the book) who points out:  “Rather than accept that the world offers just one speed, we have the privilege of ‘designing’ our lives.”

So rather than a full rejection of speed, we can generate balance by embracing and integrating the aesthetics and importance of slowness. Designing our lives with this balance of speeds will serve to benefit us, society, nature and our ecological environment.

Check out the full article: Slow Is Beautiful: Why Learning How to Slow Down Is the Key to Simple Living.