A few years ago, I made a very conscious decision to slow down my relationship with consuming things. That included predominantly fashion, but also extended to other material and non-material domains, including media. It began as a response to seeking out a more sustainable way of existing. What I didn't realize at the time is that slowing down as a consumer would eventually help me see how fast I was moving as a human being. How frequently I was rushing through my life. I look back now on all the little moments I passed over in pursuit of the next and I ask myself: why was I going so fast?
The problem with speed, at least as I've observed it in my own life, is that it's something of a vice disguised as a virtue. It's ambition and a thirst for life and an orientation towards planning and achieving and seeing and doing; it's wanting it all, effectuated. The problem is that despite our very best intentions, the orientation towards moving fast, wanting it quickly, rushing to get there, only to rush to leave there to get somewhere else, fundamentally dilutes the experience of being alive. Only very recently has it become fully clear to me just how counterproductive speed can be. In our individual lives, it frenzies us, leaving us overwhelmed but unfulfilled. In our societies, it points us towards a way of living and expecting and consuming that doesn't exist within reasonable limits. Speed is hollowing us out.
So, yet again, I'm learning to slow down. This time, it's not about how fast I'm buying but how fast I'm being. On that note, here's a little wisdom on the topic of slowing down.
Boy, I hurried... I hurried for a long time. I'm sorry I did. All the time you're hurrying, you're not really as aware as you should be. You're trying to make things happen instead of just letting it happen. You follow me?
No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention.
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
This is very important -- to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you're gonna lose everything...just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That's why they're all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.