“Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time.

Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it. Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart.”

- Michael Ende (1929 – 1995)  Momo, 1973 p.77

Rush is the motor of all our actions; it is the grand prix kinetics that surrounds all our life, speeding it up, making the most out of every single second, and worshipping a speed that does not make us better. Slowness is often related to negative values. Clumsiness, disinterest, tedium are dimensions that do not include the positive effects resulting from the paused, well-thought and safe attitude. Nevertheless, Important decisions cannot be taken always randomly or impulsively. We are all aware of that.

The idea, SLOW, was applied to different essential areas of our existence: food, sex, health, work, schooling or leisure. The Slow Movement addresses the issue of ‘time poverty’ through making connections: to people - ourselves, our family, community, friends – to food, to the place where we live, and to life. We want connection to all that it means to live. Buddhism is gaining wider acceptance in the world today. People are turning to organic food in droves. Schools are in turmoil. Home schooling is becoming commonplace. People are downshifting. Even so, the Slow Movement does not aim to shake the very foundations of all that have been built to date. It intends to reveal the possibility of living life fully but at a slower pace, where individuals can control and own their existence. This lies in finding the right pace for each part of our daily race. We should be able to run when it is necessary and cope with the feared stress that too many times is upon us; however, we should also be able to know when to stop and enjoy an extended present which too often ends up buried by near future duties.

Slow Food become parts of our body, but Fast Food, which just looks like food, is adhered to body and is washed away soon. What is more, it only tortures our body. Slowness is nearly a way to recover the enlightenment of life and self-sustainable growth. With the ever-increasing speed and developing technologies, the level of human perception is on the increase of the external factors, and the evolution of perception is slowed down as well. The world is getting imbalanced by the only people who monopolize perception. There are a lot of fast things with us, but the speed itself does not matter. Too many things we lose in the speed; more ample contexts, deeper studies, major trends and connections which are concatenated from forgotten things and even more. There must be a holistic approach that properly takes into consideration a wide range of material and social factors as well as the short and long term impacts of our every action. ‘Speed’ is absolutely crucial, but also to find the ‘Right Way’ is a necessary condition for our well-balanced lives between individuals, society and the natural environment.

Walking is slower than running, but an inspiration passing in a flash while walking is beyond compare. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” says Mahatma Gandhi. We now need to take a deep breath and to scope slowly out the world we live in and ourselves within our everyday lives. It is time to put in a COMMA of life for more fertile imagination in the space where reason and sensibility are reconciled.

 

Slow Movement

Andante; 1. in a moderately slow tempo (a walking pace), usually used as a direction in music, originated from Italian, literally ‘going’, present participle of andare. 2. a passage or movement in this manner. 

 

 

This is a post by David Report contributor Jaeuk Jung.

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3 comments

  1. Krister says:

    Dec 10, 2012

    Hi Jaeuk,

    I like your interesting exploration of the slow movement.

    Do you mean human perception as just being aware and sensing subconsciously, or even sensing + understanding what we are sensing?

    Why is there an in crease in human perception of the external environment happening? Is it that people are stimulated by more stuff like electronic devices, smells, noise, experiencing different climates through their travels more frequently etc? Or do you mean that people are given so much wider choice that they not only become aware of all the increasing amount of stuff around them that they begin to understand and ‘curate’ more of it, consciously collecting the wider range of stuff and sorting more of it or just making a more informed decision?

    Why is there also a slowdown in the evolution of human perception? Do you mean there’s a dumbing-down of society, where people are simply not given or taking enough time and opportunity to develop their sense of self- and external-awareness? Can you site some examples, and even examples where perceptions are being monopolised? Interestingly, my eye caught a book on how minorities (eg companies) use the power of influence to affect change they prefer. I think from memory its introduction explored briefly how society is used to being influenced automatically, rather than questioning a new idea and running with their own idea and how this affects those with power and influence. I’m not sure how correct that is, but perhaps in some circumstances it rings true. The opposite if applied in society could be a real benefit to personal well being.

  2. Jaeuk Jung says:

    Dec 12, 2012

    Hi Krister, Thank you for your interest in “Andante”. We are now even more convenient with many technologies, but simply our perception given by nature is less stimulated than it was before as a result. I think it is fundamentally about the whole social system, time and space within the mechanical structure. Thus, we can address diverse situations with its imbalances ranging from high-tech devices to social issues; too easy to take and discard. At the same time, our level of awareness is becoming too instant; We are often careless – how we feel, think, speak and even behave.

    Let me share some additional topics for discussion rather than quick answers. Can we trust the media; news and advertising telling us the truth? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? Most people have a long list of contacts in their mobile, but how many phone numbers do you actually remember…?

  3. Henry says:

    Dec 22, 2012

    Yap, I feel interest to “Andante”, also interested to new technology, thanks for share with us.

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