Patience is in short supply these days because we’ve been culturally trained to be impatient – now corporations can charge to appease our impatience.
With 2-day shipping from Amazon; with faster and faster internet service so the websites load faster and you can work faster; with microwave ovens to warm or cook your food faster; with pressure cookers so you can skip soaking your beans or watching the pot while you cook; and with wrinkle-free fabric so you no longer need to iron.
There are even self-cleaning windows now. And you probably know that animals’ growth rates are being pushed to the limits with growth hormones and special feed so they can be brought to slaughter faster and make money for their corporations faster.
But remember that the Concorde, the fastest plane ride over the Atlantic, failed; and that our push to get children to read, write and do math two years before their minds are actually mature enough, only leads to teachers’ and children’s frustration (read a recent post on that). Doing so many things faster and faster is not always better. There is a limit to the monetary rewards when we become strung out emotionally and healthwise. There is a limit to how fast we can live, and it’s showing – what with all the stress and anxiety in our culture.
We need leisure time. Our minds need a break. We need slow segments in between all that speed. Hence the popularity of meditation, but also retreats, pampering spas, and resort vacations with nothing to do but veg out at the pool. Joel Salatin, the sustainable farmer philosopher I mentioned in a recent post, said that between 60 and 70% of his new farming apprentices are now disillusioned corporate drop-outs in their late twenties and early thirties. What race are you trying to win? Slow down, smell the roses, and give yourself a break. It’s better for you.