Monthly Message from the Work-Life Director
June Greetings from the Director
Slow Down was a popular message I offered in July 2008, referencing the “Slow Movement” and the work of Carl Honore’. As we enter summer during an economic recession, the “Slow Movement” is even more relevant to contemporary life; many of us are being compelled to make do with fewer opportunities to busy ourselves with the consumption of multiple experiences and things.
The slow movement counters the cultural assumption that faster and bigger is always better. Instead, slow movement advocates favor doing things “at the right speed” and quality over quantity. Certainly with fewer resources, including extra dollars in our pockets, we must prioritize what we do.
Honore’ argues in such works as In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed, that our cultures encourages us to behave like speed–junkies who enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with being faster. Moreover, our busyness helps us avoid the deeper questions in life such as Who am I? How do I fit into this world?
Avoiding these deeper questions can ultimately create pain in old age. As Wendy Lustbader eloquently points out in her book, Counting on Kindness: The Dilemmas of Dependency, we are taught to value being over having or doing. Then, when we can no longer do, we are ill-equipped to just be.
Therefore, with fewer opportunities to consume, we have opportunities to slow down, prioritize our life’s agenda and enjoy more fully each moment. In doing so, we create better lives for ourselves and our communities.