If You Want to Truly Live, Live Slowly
The concept of time has transformed from a physical reality to an illness. Living slowly has become synonymous with inefficiency and error. “Losing track of time” is almost sacrilegious for many, because it is always assumed “the faster the better.” The unfortunate thing is that it is no longer time that we lose track of, but life.
To live in a constant state of hurry is almost like not living at all. You have minimal contact with each experience. You hardly live them. You barely stop to savor them. Speed helps you elude things, experience them without really experiencing them. You miss all the details and, with them, the essence of the experience.
“Good is slow because it goes uphill. Evil is fast because it goes downhill.”
When we live at a high speed, it is difficult to find time to think. There is no room to stop and reflect about what you are doing or how you are living. You can only pedal faster, trying to use each second so you don’t lose it.
Whoever lives slowly, ages slowly
This culture of speed has obvious consequences. First of all, your body is constantly hyper-stimulated. You constantly have high levels of adrenaline, and also of cortisol, the stress hormone. These hormones can make you feel high, and you may become addicted to the feeling.
Nevertheless, this natural high comes at a great cost. When your body has become used to living at this pace, without time to even breathe deeply, you are more likely to get sick. Stress will eventually bring aches and pains.
On the other hand, living slowly – or, what’s better, being able to change between speeds as needed – will help you stay healthy. You will be able to enjoy your experiences more, enjoy every bite you eat, every breath you take. After a while, this lifestyle will lead to increased health and mental balance.
Multitasking: an evil of our time
We live in a time where multitasking is the norm, almost a requirement. The result is that now it is not only important to do tasks quickly, we must be able to do many tasks at once. People who can complete multiple tasks at once, and do it quickly, are seen as “efficient”.
Perhaps this person is efficient – though many studies suggest the opposite- but that efficiency does not benefit you. Neither does a system in which time is money. Efficiency seems important because it produces lots of little trinkets. Nice shoes that are made quickly and wear out just as fast. Ideas that last for a few weeks and then fall out of fashion. To produce these items which are basically disposable, you need people who can produce in quantity – and quickly.
We live in a culture in which it is important to cover a lot of ground, even if to do so is uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if you like what you do, or even if you benefit from it. The logic of mass production is different, even though scientists proved that working less and more slowly generates better results.
Speed is a toxic element in our lives
Living at a high speed reduces our tolerance, because it creates a certain level of constant stress. If we aren’t alert, we can’t keep up with the fast pace of modern life. We can’t do 3 or 4 tasks at once.
Without realizing it, we are forgetting how to enjoy the small things in life. We can only truly experience these if we live slowly. Do you have time to stop and enjoy the smile of a loved one? Do you have time to reflect on the fact that life is passing you by? That you are not the protagonist of your own story? Or do you only have time to think about how to avoid delay?
When we become addicted to speed, patience becomes a meaningless word. In fact, we are constantly exasperated, usually because of some delay. Without even thinking, you have started to spend 3 minutes with your spouse, 2 minutes at lunch. . .One day you will look in the mirror and not know where the vital young man went. You will only see a fatigued and defeated adult.