August 16
Walking takes longer than any
other known form of locomotion
except crawling.  Thus it stretches
time and prolongs life. Life is already
too short to waste on speed.

Edward Abbey


Today's Meditation:

We all seem to know that the things that are most important in our society aren't the best things for us, yet few of us are willing to look at exactly what those things are and do something about them.  One element of life that our society values that can be very damaging to us as people is speed--there's very little actual need for it, and our efforts to speed everything up can have very negative effects on our lives.

Only when we purposely slow ourselves down and refuse to jump into the speed game that we see just how calming and relaxing something like taking a casual walk--not a speed walk to burn a maximum number of calories--can be.  In fact, for many people taking a walk is quite the same thing as meditation, and the walks allow them to think things through more clearly, arriving at clarity much more quickly and accurately than they would have if they hadn't taken the time to slow down.

There are things that do take speed.  A doctor in an emergency room doesn't have a lot of time to make decisions; factory workers with quotas to meet do need to work quickly; a journalist with a deadline mustn't dally; but in our lives there are many more situations that could benefit from our slowing down, thinking clearly, and pondering things more deeply.

Walking is wonderful exercise for the body and the mind and the spirit, and it's very easy to do--and also very easy to neglect.  If we could spend more time walking and taking life easy, we would spend more time feeling good about ourselves and what we're doing.

Questions to consider:

Why do so few people make or take the time for walking?

How could you fit more walking into your daily schedule? 

What benefits does speed really have for most of our activities?  Are those benefits worth the trade-off of losing time to slow down?

For further thought:

Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

Eddie Cantor


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