July 23     

Today's quotation:

There's an old Italian proverb:  Qui va piano, va sano, va lentano.  That means:  "The person who goes quietly, goes with health and goes far."  Hurrying up and using a lot of shortcuts doesn't get us very far at all.

Fred Rogers

Today's Meditation:

When we hurry things, we take a lot of unnecessary risks.  We risk making mistakes that we wouldn't make if we were to take our time; we risk missing out on wonderful things that surround us as we hurry past them; we risk lowering the quality of whatever it is that we're doing or making; we risk needlessly raising our stress level and the tension we feel-- which can lead us to say things we don't mean to say and do things we normally wouldn't do.

Avoiding hurry takes work and determination.  If we want to avoid being in a hurry, we have to decide to get ready earlier.  One of the best decisions I've ever made came a few decades ago, when I decided that if I had to be somewhere at eight o'clock, for example, I would be ready at least half an hour early.  I don't always live up to that standard, but usually I do, and I'm much less stressed when I do so.  If I have to be at work at 8:30, I usually try to get where I'm going half an hour early, and sit down and have a nice relaxing cup of coffee before I start my day.

We do a great disservice to life when we live our lives always in a hurry.  And it's unnecessary to be in a hurry all the time.  If our jobs cause us to always hurry, perhaps it's time to change jobs.  If our own procrastination causes us times of stress because we have to hurry to make up for lost time, then perhaps it's time to start learning and practicing strategies for leaving procrastination behind.  Life rarely forces us to hurry; rather, our own decisions about how we deal with time cause us to be in situations where we have to hurry if we want to avoid negative results.

Does a rainstorm force us to hurry inside, or is it our unwillingness to get wet?  (And lightning is another story!)  Are we hurrying to work because we're late, or because we decided to spend too much time doing something else?  The ways that we use and spend time are up to us, and if they're causing us to be in a hurry all the time, then it's probably time to slow down, relax, and truly notice all around us instead of hurrying past it all.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things cause you to hurry?

What do we miss out on when we're constantly in a hurry?  What are the benefits of hurrying?

What kinds of things can you do today to avoid hurrying through the day?

For further thought:

Recently I've begun to slow down and do things one at a time.  I'm inspired--and simultaneously exasperated--by my son who, like most six-year-olds, likes to take his time to get to where he wants to be.  It's as if he truly savors the path more than the destination.  As I prod him to "hurry up," he slows down to relish his journey even more.


Leslie Levine

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