Books

Slow down

"Speed has helped to remake our world in ways that our wonderful and liberating. Who wants to live in a world without Internet or jet travel? The problem is that our love of speed, our obsession with doing more and more in less and less time, has gone too far; it has turned into an addiction, a kind of idolatry. Even when speed starts to backfire, we invoke the go-faster gospel. Falling behind at work? Get a quicker Internet connection. No time for that novel you got at Christmas? Learn to speed-read. Diet not working? Try liposuction. Too busy to cook? Buy a microwave. And yet some things cannot, should not, be sped up. They take time; they need slowness. When you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay."

This paragraph is from the introduction of Carl Honore's book In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed. Honore is not a Christian, but he has rightly diagnosed a huge problem in our time (which he calls "The Age of Rage"): the idolatry of doing more and more in less and less time. As Honore says, when you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay.

What are some things that should not be accelerated? Where do you need to slow down?

Relationships. Prayer. Parenting. Meditation. Conversation. Meaningful phone calls to long-distance friends and family. Worship. Meals.

There's a few. Think through your own life and slow down this weekend. Eliminate something unnecessary. Forget the clock for a little while. Say no to cult of speed.

2 comments:

Micah Tillman said...

Is it the case that wanting to get things done faster is a desire unique to our time?

lisatatj said...

Wow, I like that!--that is when I am most stressed and get angry with my family, when I am rushing to get something done, or going out the door...thanks