“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.
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.