Dr Stewart Hase - Psychologically Speaking

Life in the slow lane

I was out huffing and puffing along my favourite jogging track at the weekend. It is the rainforest walk at Iluka, which is a lovely remnant of littoral rainforest and winds its way between the Iluka township and Iluka Bluff. Its just a great place where you dont have to think about being run over by cars or being dive bombed by Kamikaze magpies. Anyhow, I rounded a bend and came across a couple strolling along, gazing into the foliage looking for bird life. I think I surprised them, although probably not with my fleetness of foot. They were probably deep in thought, enjoying the scenery and not expecting a jogger. Fair enough really, I suppose. The woman was pretty apologetic, as people can be when they are startled, and said sorry and that they were going slow. As I passed them I gasped that slow was good, and went on my merry way.

I then started to think about what Id said. There is a lot to be said about going slow. I remember reading some time ago about some school somewhere doing slow education, which caused a bit of a stir. It was interesting because the teachers talked about allowing the students to really immerse themselves in their learning rather than zipping through the curriculum. For a while the go slow movement seemed to be gathering momentum but it appears to have dropped off the radar.

We do make ourselves busy, filling in the time between what is a very early dawn at the moment and falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day. Gotta do this, gotta do that and all in a great big rush. You see it on the roads, in shopping centres and on city streets, everyone is in a hurry. I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in airports recently and that is men talking on their mobile phones while having a pee. Now, I ask you, what could be that urgent? Maybe its part of men learning to multi-task at last!

Its the quick fix society. Give me instant gratification and give it to me fast, even quicker if you can. And we get really impatient too if our needs are not instantly met. I see people throwing tantrums almost every day. There seems to be so much anger and frustration around these days that I think it has a lot to do with this impatience and being in a hurry. It cant be at all good for us mentally or physically.

So, time to revitalise the go slow. Its not that hard really. Move slowly; look around and take notice of your surroundings; really listen in conversations with others; do one thing at a time; savour moments; take time to really relax; and make sure you really immerse yourself in what you enjoy.

Mind you, as you stop to sniff the flowers make sure you havent completely forgotten how to move quickly if you find your nose is sharing the space with a bee!


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