One of the recurring themes on My Zen Path is to be mindful in our work and life. To pause, and ponder what we are doing, and why we are doing that. The life of hustle-and-bustle does not appeal to everyone. For example, it doesn’t appeal to me much at this stage of my life and career. I had discussed “discomfort with hurry” (eilkrankheit) in Rethinking efficiency (Dec 2019) and busy-ness in Rethinking busy life (Dec 2015) earlier. If you find this slow movement appealing, I request you to read both these articles. They delve much deeper into busy life, and why some of us choose to move away from such crazy-busy existence.
The slow movement has an interesting perspective on this. Carl Honoré is a proponent of the slow movement, and author of book – In praise of slow (preview below). Based on the research of his book, this is what he says about working less, slowing up –
Other countries in Europe, notably the Nordic countries, are showing that it’s possible to have a kick-ass economy without being a workaholic. And Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland now rank among the top six most competitive nations on Earth, and they work the kind of hours that would make the average American weep with envy. And if you go beyond sort of the country level, down at the micro-company level, more and more companies now are realizing that they need to allow their staff either to work fewer hours or just to unplug — to take a lunch break, or to go sit in a quiet room, to switch off their Blackberrys and laptops — you at the back — mobile phones, during the work day or on the weekend, so that they have time to recharge and for the brain to slide into that kind of creative mode of thought.
Please listen to his talk here, filled with humor and wisdom –
It is strange and saddening how speed has slipped into all the aspects of our life, even where you don’t expect it. I was really touched by his narration of rushing through the bedtime stories for his son. I think we all have similar stories from our hurried lives as well. This is my takeaway from this talk –
The sort of revolutionary idea, of the Slow Movement, is that there is such a thing as “good slow,” too. And good slow is, you know, taking the time to eat a meal with your family, with the TV switched off. Or taking the time to look at a problem from all angles in the office to make the best decision at work. Or even simply just taking the time to slow down and savor your life.
“Slow” is not just an adjective, it is a verb as well. 🙂
If you’re interested, the first book by Carl Honoré himself – In praise of slow. It covers details about the slow movement, although I have not read it. The second book, The things you can see only when you slow down (by Haemin Sunim) – this one is really growing on me. I keep going back to this book often and find some wonderful gems there every time.
Do browse through the samples of both and see if you like them.
This surreal image of the greens and tortoise is by 0fjd125gk87, and I’m using it here with gratitude.