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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.

©iStockphoto.com/matka_Wariatka

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.