Some Walk Slow
We live in a world where efficiency is the goal. If we can do two, or even three, things at once, we are celebrated. Most of our technological advances in the last 100 years have been promoted as time savers. Why not?
Going fast, as Ricky Bobby said, is exhilarating. Saving time seems like a great idea. Would that not give us more time for more experiences in life? Well… yes and no.
Without going into Einstein’s theory of relativity (as if I could), what does it mean to “save time”? Has it just become a part of a culture where people are valued less and possessions are valued more? Do we measure our lives by accomplishments rather than friendships? Is the worth of our lives determined by how many people we convinced to contribute to our enterprise, or can it be measured by how many lives we have affected in a positive way?
Let me say this right out of the gate. This is not my area of expertise. At the very best, I am only able to ask questions. Admittedly, I am for the exchange of monies, the usefulness of tools created to help each other, and quicker methods and getting simple things accomplished. But, there was this time spent in Zambia.
After a clinic on rudimentary basketball skills, students from a local school accompanied my group back to our van. One young man grabbed my hand as we walked. This was not my culture. This was not my instinct. But, we held hands as we walked and talked.
We walked a little slower after our hands clasped. Something about our intentionally engaging in space and time, in shared thought, and in purpose, made us walk slow. Each of us mindful of the other. Upon my return to the country of my birth, I did not request everyone’s hand when in conversation, but I did walk slow. Not needing to hold hands, but conversing with intention.
Walking slow is not always done when walking.
We are busy and we need to take more time for simple things. We love, and yet we need to be more loving. Whether it is finding, or creating, peace, we need to slow down. Sometimes the only thing we need to do is take our time, and do more things on purpose.
There is both good and bad that has come from our hyper-efficiency. We nuke our food in a microwave and have the time to worry. Our information is delivered on a cell phone and we have time to gripe and complain. Our needs are met quickly, so we convince ourselves that our wants are our needs.
Here is the rub. The thing that sticks in my proverbial crawl.
Simon Sinek seems like a genius for sharing good stories and encouraging people to put their cell phones down when speaking to others. Gary Vaynerchuck is celebrated for his focus on kindness. Even the Dalai Lama, seems like the Dalai Lama, because he sends good vibes and compassion.
Are you not doing these things? Have you not done these since before they became popular? I would not consider it offensive if you said you have the same common sense and holiness as all of these public figures. It would not be heresy for you to claim sisterhood and brotherhood with all of the masters.
This is the problem with self-help philosophy. It assumes you need help. This is the problem with most religions. They assume you need their guidance to access the divine.
It is true in this modern world that we may have lost our way and that we need some guidance. The advice I have to give is not some new practice or an appreciation for those that came before us. My recommendation is to walk a little slower, listen a little more, and approach your true self with the respect that it deserves. Whether you hold hands with others or not, the secret is in the slowing down.
We are leaning, however, at the same time, we are teaching. Ours is to create peace, but also prosperity. When we see abundance in scarcity, and are full of gratitude for the pulse of life, we find abundance. Not only abundance in financial things, but abundance in joy, peace, happiness, talents, and our ability to create more.
Maybe we do not need another book. Maybe we do not need a better system for staying organized. What if we just needed to walk a little slower? What if we simply needed to notice, that we already that for which we claim we are searching?
One example. No two people in the world have the same experience. Not one person in the world sees his or her wealth in the same way. Often, those that complain about this, have exactly what others are complaining about not having.
Yet, in this world, there are those that are happy and those that are not. Is it a trick? Is all of the world an illusion? Hold your hand over a flame for a minute (not literally) and tell me if everything is an illusion.
So much of this world is perspective. It is hard to be grateful for what you hurry past. We do not need to move to a mountain top and notice all things, but it might help to take a little more time with people, eat meals with a little more appreciation, and even pay attention to the miracles of the modern world.
And be kind. To yourself and others. First to yourself, then others. You are a miracle, wherever you find yourself in life.
As they say, you never miss your water until your well runs dry.
Walk slow enough to enjoy every drop.