'in praise of slowness'

i have been reading carl honore's 'in praise of slowness'-- which looks at our increasing speed since the industrial revolution and its consequences-- on our health, our relationships, and on our planet.  he writes:

A third [of workers] now spend all or almost all of their time rushing to meet deadlines.  Of course, speed has a role in the workplace.  A deadline can focus the mind and spur us on to perform remarkable feats.  The trouble is that many of us are permanently stuck in deadline mode, leaving little time to ease off and recharge. The things that need slowness-- strategic planning, creative thought, building relationships-- get lost in the mad dash to keep up, or even just to look busy.

honore finds that many workers are intentionally slowing down their pace because they are realizing that their work (and their clients, patients, etc.) actually suffers from their speed.  an attorney taking a ten minute 'brief' from a client will need to make follow-up phone calls, or will start down the wrong road initially and have to back-track, for example-- all because s/he didn't take the time to fully understand the client's situation to begin with.

as i am coming through one of the busiest periods of my year, this is good reminder-- i also need to slow down, listen, fully BE in the moment.  and, as president obama said shortly after taking office, the problem is not finding time to get to all the meetings, events, or even his children's chorus performances-- the real challenge is finding time to think.

mmmmmm hmmmmm.



Dave Giese said...

I was just pondering this topic with regard to the demolition of buildings. It seems that in todays world having the capability to do something fast creates an expectation that it needs to be done fast. Working slowly with purpose, using ones hands, discovering the method of construction which then yields the path of deconstruction...I find this satisfying. A home that has stood for a hundred years must now come down in one day?

shopgirl said...

ah-- good point! good to separate the ability to be fast from the decision to do something fast! thanks. -mary-moore.

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