June 30, 2019

Slow and Steady

This green gradient is in the woods near home. I like to slow down here as often as possible. The mosquito swarms make sure I don't stop long enough for the moss to absorb me into the forest.

I have always resisted the continual speedification of life. The finish line comes soon enough. Why rush?

How different the philosophy of Confucius to how we live today. 

"It doesn't matter how slow you go", he said, "as long as you don't stop". 

Infinitely cranking up the speed of life is not conducive to a happy or healthy population, and our dismal statistics bear that out. It is enough to make one want to take a nap, or sit quietly in a mossy clearing in the forest.

We are currently in a suicide epidemic, and it is not just in North America that this is happening. It is a global issue, especially among young people, for which suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death.

Our social problems, including suicide, are multifaceted, and the cause can not be attributed to one thing. However, just like driving a car, the faster one goes down the highway of life, the more likely there is to be the occasional catastrophic outcome.

Slow is the way to go. We need to chill, relax, and take it easy on a regular basis. And because social isolation is another growing problem that contributes to poor health, try going slow with a friend or two.

Just don't stop or you will stagnate, and the moss will begin to grow. Be a rolling stone, but roll at your own chosen speed. For me, that is slow and steady.


  1. Anonymous7/01/2019

    Lovely picture and sentiment. Spent this afternoon in a comfy chair on the deck with a book. Has been a slow and comfortable day. Hope to carry that feeling into the week. - Mary

    1. This mossy spot is the entrance to one of my favourite places in the woods. It is a nice transition spot from the edge of civilization into the wild.

      I like slow, comfortable days. Hope your week was the same.

  2. Anonymous7/02/2019

    As you show with you quote from Confucius the idea of slowing down and its benefits has a long history. An excellent book on the slow movement and slowness in general is, "In Praise of Slowness" by Carl Honore. His chapter on sex (yes, apparently even sex is being rushed these days) begins with a quote from Kierkegaraard (1813-1855). "Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." It does seem that we get so used to rushing that we don't distinguish between pleasurable activities and work.


    Slowing down is not always easy though, it seems that as soon as others think you have too much leisure time they try too fill it with something for you to do. I got serious about slowing down when I retired and decided that I was done multi-tasking, which never worked well for me, and was looking forward to mono-tasking instead.

    1. Here is to mono-tasking. Or no-tasking. Western civilization sees too much down time as a sin. Or a temptation for sin to happen. It is a good way to keep people going non-stop, lest they be labeled and shamed.

      Lazy, slacker, not ambitious enough - there are many ways for those who profit from our mania to keep us going until we drop. I have heard of far too many good people that worked themselves to death before they had an opportunity to retire and savour the slow life.

      I will be looking up Honore on my next library visit. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous7/03/2019

    "Nature does does hurry, yet everything is accomplished." -Lao Tse

    My favorite quote, which is very helpful when I feel the push of business and speed.


    1. That is one of my favourites, too.

      Sometimes it is hard to accept that things will unfold at the pace they need to. We want change to happen faster. Or slower.

      "Nonresistance, nonjudgement, and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living."

      - Eckhart Tolle


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