In Praise of Slowness – How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore, Copyright 2004, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, NY
I am not fast. Never was. Not at running, walking, biking or any other sport. Even my golf swing is slow. A 200 yard drive is long and, I need the roll. When biking with a group, I draft. Otherwise, I can’t keep pace. I am wired for distance, not speed. I can travel a long way. Just not quickly. So it is any wonder I picked up this book. In a world so focused on instant messages, speed dating, autobahns and smartphones, I am out of step. Or, at least that is what I thought.
It appears there is a worlwide movement to slow things down, bring balance back into our lives and praise those of us that move more slowly.
The haste is of our own making. Despite the industrial revolution and continued advances in technology, we work as much today as we did a generation or two ago. What happened to the promise of leisure for all?
Instead of having more leisure we, in fact, enjoy less. Consider this:
- Americans spend 40% less time with their children than they did in the 1960’s;
- On average, Americans spend 72 minutes a day behind the wheel of a car;
- A typical executive loses 68 hours a year by being put on hold; and,
- Adults spend a meager 30 minutes a week love making.
Is this the world we want for ourselves? Our children? Our grandchildren? “In Praise of Slowness” celebrates a moderate pace in all we do from the way we eat, commute, work and relax. This book challenges you to rethink your values and build a better future. Get out of the car. Walk. Bike. Or, use public transit. Eat natural, locally grown foods whenever possible. Chew your food thoroughly. Think before speaking. And, when you speak, carefully enunciate each word. Make certain your are understood. Dispose of your credit cards. Pay cash. Only purchase what you can afford. Simplify your life wherever possible. Cherish your family and friends. These are the tenets of a richer, fuller life.
This is a feel good book. Nor longer do I need to apologize for my slow gait, lengthy meals with friends or having to lay up on a long par 4.