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  • Marta Barreiro

Haste Makes Waste: Slow Down, Please!

“Dress me slower, please, I am in a hurry”, that was the advice that King Fernando VII told to his assistant, as he did not succeed in dressing him because of the stress and rush for an imminent meeting. This spanish proverb reminds us that speed does not necessarily indicate efficiency. However, we are always in a hurry. Why?

The Industrial Revolution brought us technological advances and the concept of professional success. Both notions are making us believe that we belong to time (and maybe it is actually the opposite: time belongs to us). We are filled with the idea that we are here to measure it, and not to live it.

As utopians, we didn’t come to believe entirely that statement. And then the Slow Movement begun, which is a kind of cultural revolution that stands up for a new conception of time: we live in a continuous present in which every activity persists as long as it remains necessary and natural.

“Time was invented by those incapable of love”. Graffiti on a wall of rue Spinoza, Paris.

It all began in 1986, when Carlo Petrini creates “Slow Food” as a response to the opening of one McDonalds at Piazza di Spagna, Rome. Slow Food was born as an association which defended local and traditional food against the advance of the Fast Food and the Fast Way of Life. This utopic idea has spread like wildfire and resulted in the emergence of parallel initiatives: Slow Cities, Slow Fashion, Slow Schools, Slow Sex… All of them defending the need of slowing down the pace in each area of our lives for their well-deserved enjoyment.

In the book “In praise of Slowness”, Carl Honoré reminds us that, “in this media-drenched, data-rich, channel-surfing, computer-gaming age, we have lost the art of doing nothing, of shutting out the background noise and distractions, of slowing down and simply being alone with our thoughts.” Fighting against the speed of modern living, Slow Philosophy gives priority to the quality rather than to the quantity of our activities. It consists in making us, in the time that belongs us, “something of value rather than something of success”.

Let’s dress us slower, please, as we are in a hurry.

“Morning Sun” by Edward Hopper

To know more about Slow Movement, take a look at the following links:

  • “In Praise of Slowness” – Carl Honoré Tedx Talk

  • Slow Movement

  • Slow Movement Portugal

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