I have always been expected to operate at lightning speed.
And it has never worked for me.
I need to process…and process…and process…
I LOVE to process.
It is my idea of a good time!
What’s The Rush!
I have never understood the need to rush. In my experience, the easiest way to have problems is to rush.
However, from a very young age, I have noticed that people around me were always in a rush for something. A rush to judgment, to get something, be somewhere or do something.
I always felt “wrong” because it always seemed so silly to me.
It also seemed to me that something terribly important was missing.
Is Anybody Home?
I felt alone in all of the rushing. Rushing felt so escapist, and I did not understand what everyone was trying to escape? I felt stupid for not really wanting to join in.
Escaping was not compelling to me. It did not attract me and still doesn’t.
All of the rushing and escaping feels sad.
It feels like we are afraid to take a chance.
It feels like we are here but no one is home.
Speed Can Be Dangerous
In school, we are rewarded for getting answers not for asking questions. So often we continue that pattern in our daily lives.
Not to have an answer os a failing, a way of losing a competitive battle for survival, a risk we are afraid of.
But answers are not necessarily simple and they can only evolve by engaging with a set of circumstances or conditions. It is through that process that answers come.
When we fail to honor the process of engagement and deliberation we are plagued with the kind of ideological substitute for problem-solving that plagues our society right now. We have packaged answers that fail to solve anything while the real problems seeking our attention remain ignored.
And so we run around each one of us with our bandaids unable to really solve our problems.
No wonder so many people feel frustrated and depressed.
They have every reason to.
Slow Is About Respect
When you approach anything in a slow careful manner you are paying a very basic kind of respect. You are paying attention to people, place, and things. You are paying attention to process. You pay attention to current reality as a starting point for moving forward. You give everything the attention it deserves.
Slow is about paying attention. Fast is about escaping.
That is true both in our work and in our relationships.
I am sure how you have experienced the awful feeling when someone rushes you because they do not want to be bothered.
I am sure you have also experienced what it is like when someone takes the time to talk with you.
The rushed experience closes you down; the slower, more thoughtful interaction opens you up.
Does The World Belong To The Takers?
When people rush as their primary way of relating, all interactions become superficial and transactional. Speed does not really allow for anything else.
So when we slow down, we open the door to more give and take which is a more satisfactory arrangement for everyone, in reality. We also honor each other and the value in each other when we slow down. We honor each person’s uniqueness, gifts, and limits as part of the whole.
We can then give ourselves the opportunity to be with what is instead of demanding that everyone be something else to meet our demands and requirements.
Life Is Not Just A Shopping Trip
Too often we relate to each other as consumers looking for something pleasurable from others.
Pleasure is great but seeking or demanding it as a constant in our lives keeps us in the role of shoppers rather than creators. As a result, we miss out on ourselves as much as everyone else.
Slowing down gives us not only our time back but also our friendship and respect.
It gives a more natural place in the universe. It lets us be both more humble and more creative at the same time.
Slow is a gentle place.
Slow lets us open up more.
It frees us from our demands and lets us join into the world rather than bearing down on it oppressively with our need for continual self-indulgence.
Slow lets us be human and humane.
Slow gives us a much-needed break and everyone else, too.
It is worth embracing.