The Slow Movement

I’m not for sure about where I heard about the slow movement but I think it was on the radio (I listen to a lot of radio). A guy was talking about how he had visited a slow restaurant in Italy or somewhere and the discussion evolved into the movement itself being a response to MacDonalds being set up in an ancient part of Rome and the subsequent backlash to the “fast food” movement.

Just stop and think about your life for a bit. Actually bet you can’t. We’re not good at stopping are we? Stopping is uncomfortable. It feels like a waste, somehow evil to stop because stopping has no meaning, and it doesn’t accomplish anything. It doesn’t seem to have any inherent value. We’re certainly not used to it. There’s always something to be done – something important or urgent. We have to get those monkey’s off our back (and saddle up the pigs because they’re about to fly).

Burnout happens partly because we can’t stop. We get addicted to adrenaline, productivity, pseudo-success or we’re simply deceived thinking that the essence of life is in achieving and doing. But it’s not. Isn’t it odd that in rural third-world places where people still have to gather wood and water, there’s no burnout. I saw a great program where middle class white families are sent to third world countries to see how they cope and one guy had to do the traditional role of the man. Sit outside his mud hut…. that’s all. His wife cracked the shits because she had to cook and gather wood while he did nothing.

We seem to have so much to make our lives more efficient and yet somehow the wheels are spinning and we’re really not getting much more done than our ancestors did. And the slow movement is a growing one, that suggests we get back to doing things slowly.

One classic passage in the bible talks about Jesus healing the sick and driving out demons. Shortly afterwards he takes off into the bush to get away from it all. The next morning the villagers come find him and literally beg him to return and do it all again. He refuses saying he needs to be somewhere else. There’s so much in that passage that should blow your mind out, but I’ll let you do the thinking. I will say this; Jesus was never in a hurry and neither should we.

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