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June 28, 2022

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Home » Feature » Education

It’s time to take some time

I’m slow.

Catch-up’s been a big game in my life ever since grades started to matter.

While the whole class flew through chapter 18 of “The Kite Runner,” I was still lingering on chapter 11. Assignments on composing music in orchestra class took a toll on my grades because it took me longer to find a tune that resonated with me. While the world spins with manic productivity before my eyes, I often feel like a sloth in a stampede.

And that’s not all. People around me seem to zoom through smaller, everyday tasks as well, leaving me to finish my meal alone at a once-full dinner table or field complaints from my mom regarding my century-long showers. Sometimes, walking home with my friends feels like running a 200-meter race to keep up. Living in today’s world, what happened to savoring a book, perfecting a piece of music, and taking in the scenery while you walk?

I enjoy using my time in a leisurely way, but the world does not necessarily concur.

Carl Richards from The New York Times even puts our status quo as “people wearing ‘busy’ like a badge of honor.” In this whirl of insane productivity, slow people wear a badge of shame. We fail to achieve society’s standards of success simply because we take our time.

We’ve become accustomed to weighing quantity over quality. Sometimes, people operate so fast that they overlook possibilities for refinement. In the book “In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed,” Carl Honoré writes: “Slow thinking is intuitive, woolly, and creative … It yields rich, nuanced insights and sometimes surprising breakthroughs.” Being slow is how we allow ideas to simmer in our brains for inspiration. In both perceiving details and creating ideas, slowness helps us improve the quality of our work.

More so, quality of life matters, too. Often, our goal is to get from point A to point B, such as reading a book to complete an assignment or shopping to solely get necessities. Sometimes, we ignore the details that make doing what’s essential enjoyable. “Fight the tendency to operate on auto-pilot,” family therapist Ada K. Pang says. Instead of mindlessly powering through our days, we should consider valuing our undertakings, as they contain meaningful experiences.

So what’s the rush? Yes, tasks are calling to be done, but if the whole world can just slow down altogether, we wouldn’t have to rush through a paper, we would polish it. We wouldn’t have to hurry home where a mountain of homework awaits, we could maybe take a second to relish the sweet smell of pollen on a sunny spring day. Perhaps it’s time for people to stop looking straight ahead, and take a look around.


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