The concept of living an unhurried life is proposed in many magazines, books - - - even from pulpits and it brings great rewards. The balance found in living at a less frenetic pace brings back time - - time to experience, time to listen, time to think, and time to embrace a moment. We must choose to slow down, eat slowly, walk slowly, and speak slowly. Living at a fast pace makes it difficult to care for and respect the other people in our family and community. Loving and respectful relationships demand that we slow down
It is difficult to live an unhurried life in our fast paced world, especially when being busy and productive is viewed by society as praiseworthy. Too many experience feelings of guilt when not constantly being occupied and productive. A common yet misguided modern attitude is that if I can speed myself up, I can be more competitive and successful. No wonder amphetamines are so popular! However, being in a constant hurry does not allow love to be felt to its fullest, which is the goal of healthy parenting and family life.
An unhurried parent takes the time to explain to their child where they are going. Hurried parents tell their children to get in the car. Unhurried people take time to chat with a sales clerk, while the hurried is impatient and possibly rude in their need to be finished and move to the next thing. The unhurried think about how to show love to others – with encouragement, the right gift, and a kindness. The unhurried are less vulnerable to frustrations, irritations and angers of daily life.
Our children – especially teens – find pressure to live in an ever increasing pace so that they can compete successfully. The student who is able to obtain information quickly often gets better grades and is more successful. It is a sad reality that a student without success in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes will not be accepted into the most respected colleges. Years ago success in high school did not have to include having college credits at the time of graduation. It is important we stop pushing our teens to rush through each season in life.
A first step in slowing down is to establish priorities. While most verbalize that family relationships are central, often our daily decisions do not reflect this. Television, cell phones and the computer can create convenient paths to avoid interactions with others. The addictive quality of information technology steals time from family life. Technology is not bad. However, the role technology plays in our lives needs examination. Checking email and answering messages, preoccupations with chat rooms, and focus on computer-based relationships fostered by My Space and Face Book, sometimes take priority over interactions with family.
Native people teach insulating from the stress of modern life by slowing down the pace of living. One technique is described in the principle that “if the sun catches you out of bed you will have a long life”. Learning to slow down by getting up early helps with stress because there is time to reflect and get centered before others and the demands of the day are awakened. Having the silence of the morning to ourselves before the rush of school and work makes us more kind and patient with children, spouses, fellow commuters, and coworkers. It is also helpful to identify the most rushed part of your day and find one or two changes that can ease the stress, and allow you to slow down.
Love demands that we cultivate the ability to slow down, to set priorities that encourage health, creativity and to learn beneficial ways to reduce the stress of modern life. Leading an unhurried life and slowing the day down are ways of improving the quality of life.