Reading Room

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

In Praise of SlownessIn Praise of Slowness
How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed
by Carl Honoré

I received this book as a gift several years ago and promptly filed it on my office bookshelf — right next to my collection of empty Red Bull cans. You think I’m kidding…

I wryly refer to this time in my life as the: “I can multi-task at illegal levels and you should too period.”

Needless to say, I took the book down off the shelf this year, poured a cup of coffee and started reading and recognizing my own “speedaholic” behavior.

We live in the age of speed. The world around us moves faster than ever before. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour and day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to a breaking point…and we have enriched the makers of Red Bull (a multi-billion dollar product) beyond all reason in our insane attempt to keep up.

Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time, and tackles the consequences and conundrum of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time-sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down?

Many of us are beginning to realize the price we pay for unrelenting speed and we are consciously reclaiming our time and slowing down the pace with the goal of living happier, more productive, and healthier lives.

But not to worry, you won’t find any revolutionary calls to overthrow technology and seek a pre-industrial utopia in Honoré’s book.

Rather The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word — balance.

People (me included) are discovering energy and efficiency where we least expected to — in slowing down.

In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated “speedaholic” Carl Honoré details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reporting, history, and intellectual inquiry. And he makes a very compelling case for S L O W I N G down.

A belated and heartfelt thank you to my friend for the gift of this book…and yes, I am off the Red Bull…..for good.

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