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all the time in the world

Life In The Slow Lane

By Allan Eastman

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Children and mother playing with letters

Slow learning lets a child make their own discoveries in life - along with gentle guidance.


The Slow Movement has seeped into many other areas of human life, as well. Slow Learning is gaining a lot of credence recently. Many children had been forced into their parents high speed styles of life. Immense pressure was put on children from the very earliest ages to perform at an extremely high level in school, in sports and in the arts. Basically, they were being placed into the adult economic rat race long before they ever had the opportunity to grow and develop as human beings.

For every kid that could speak 3 languages at age 6 or every 8 year old piano virtuoso, there were multitudes of children who were exhibiting the same conditions of anxiety and fatigue that their time stressed parents were showing.

The Slow response to this is to put away the flash cards, cut back on the programmed extra-curricular activities and let kids be kids. School is important, sure, but so is play. Letting a child make their own discoveries in life - along with gentle guidance - more often results in a happier, more fully developed character. Test scores at age 7 are far less important than the kind of human being who emerges at age 21.

Slow Sex is a reaction to the “wham bam thank you, M’am” attitudes toward sex which are reinforced by modern life and pop culture. It believes that sexual relations between people should be the most beautiful part of life and not just a tick on a list of rapid, almost anonymous encounters. It aspires to the extraordinary, transcendent sharing of experience that only Time, patience and caring intimacy can give to this most fundamental of human interactions.

Almost everything about the Slow Movement is an attempt to recapture Time from a high speed economic existence to use toward a way of life that allows us to live happier, more meaningful lives. And Time, finally, is the only real currency that people have to spend in their journey from birth until the end.

There was a great cartoon in the National Lampoon magazine back when I was in college. Two people stand at a crossroads at the bottom of a deep valley. A rough track ascends vertically up the steep slopes on either side of them. One road is sign posted “A Meaningful Life”, the one on the other side reads “A Useless Existence.” One person comments to the other,

“Odd that they should both be uphill!”

Life will be difficult in one way or another for pretty much everyone. But there are so many ways we can do things better for ourselves, for our loved ones and for everybody else. It is all a matter of how we use our Time.

The Slow Movement offers many worthwhile answers to those who feel time stressed in their normal high speed day to day lives. Take a little Time and try some of them out. Again, it is about balance.

Just slowing down a bit and making a little Time for yourself is going to make a big difference.

  eric halverson
thank you. interesting article. slowing down to appreciate our experience of
life. i am interested in the human consciousness changes that allowed for the
industrial revolution in the first place that created the accelerating change
and our collective desire to find our balance and realignment of well being. Can
we find our balance at these speeds... whether you are rushing to arrive on time
or are smiling across the table at your child, our earth moves along it's orbit
at the same rate... breathing in.... breathing out... thich nath hanh reminds us
to bring our attention back to the ever expanding moment. We fall asleep and
forget to experience time. i find that time in nature and sometimes from high on
a mountain ridge looking deep into a valley below with the pattern of colorful
trees marking the water line down the canyon and watching the slow movement of
the sun across the sky helps me to slow down time and the natural beauty helps
me remember the pace of the earth and i can rembember to be a conscious human
experiencing life on planet earth and what an amazing experience it is to be so.
Submitted 2011-01-17 20:20:39
  Ernie Welcker
Your writing is always a breath of fresh air, of rational thoughts that
invigorate and inspire. Always eager to read more of your articles on Time.
After all: The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at
once. ~Albert Einstein
Submitted 2011-01-18 02:11:42
  Allan Eastman
Thanks for your nice words Ernie - it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to
research and write these pieces...you can click on the All The Time In The World
title bar or use this link
to access the full archive...I'm not 100% sure I agree with Einstein anymore but
we'll get into that a few issues down the road when we get into the time
conceptions of Julian Barbour. Timely greetings, Allan
Submitted 2011-01-21 11:27:53
  Phyllis Godfrey
Hi Allan

I love reading your Time articles Allan.

Submitted 2011-02-12 22:08:08
  Allan Eastman
Thanks, Phyllis - I love that you love it. It is really interesting researching
them and thinking about the subject - changed my life in several ways - and they
are lotsa fun to write. Any aspects to Time you'd like me to look into?
Best, Allan
Submitted 2011-02-13 00:57:38
  Phyllis Godfrey
Hi Allan,

Always with the hard questions....

I would love you to share your thoughts about how people describe their places
of home, their cities, relative to their countries, in the context of time and

For example, Canadians (maybe others)seem to view/describe the City of Winnipeg
as 'the centre of Canada' and it seemed to me, given the history and pattern of
Canada's settlement, what they were really saying was something else - something
more connected to time than space/geography. Interested? I would love to hear
from you on this Allan.
Best regards,

Submitted 2011-03-10 16:53:49
  Allan Eastman
OK Phyllis - that's a tough one - let me think about it...Keep warm, Allan
Submitted 2011-03-10 18:44:34

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