We need to slow down, as a society… not just as individuals.
We need to slow down our use of technology, the advances in technology, our daily lives, our consumption of various natural resources (which ARE limited), and we need to slow down and think more critically in our communication.
We just need to slow down… period.
But, with that being said, “slowing down” doesn’t mean we need to stop. So, for the purposes of this manifesto, I’m going to define what I think “slow” is, and what “slow” isn’t… and hopefully that can help you define “slow” for yourself.
- Not checking email or texts first thing in the morning, and instead enjoying a cup of coffee, preferably with a loved one.
- Not eating in 15 minutes or less, instead savoring each bite… and enjoying your meal.
- Focusing on quality instead of quantity. We live in a “mass-produced for the masses” society, we need to slow down, and get back to a local, hand-crafted society.
- Pacing yourself through life, of which you only get one… and right now, we aren’t doing such a good job as a society.
- Slowing our work down, enjoying “mini-retirements” along the way, and sending a BIG middle finger at huge corporations who focus on 70 hour weeks and barely two-weeks of vacation per year (if that).
- Developing the ability to critically think. That means slowing down enough to look at both sides of an issue, and having an open mind when it comes to hearing the “other” side you might not agree with.
- Reading past page 18 on average… seriously? I was shocked when I found out most people haven’t read a book since high school. This is depressing.
- Slow is about taking care of you and your health, because without those, the rest of this doesn’t mean anything.
- Slow is about finding balance in your life, and being willing to find it in the face of seeming “weird” to people who haven’t figured it out yet.
- An excuse to be lazy.
- An excuse to not participate in society (however, you don’t have to participate in every living thing either).
- An excuse not to stand for something.
- An excuse to “opt-out” and hope things just get better (they won’t without your help).
- An excuse to be depressed.
- An excuse to over eat, or fail to take care of yourself.
- Slow isn’t an excuse, it’s a mindset, it’s a movement… it’s what life is meant to be, not what marketing companies make you believe.
Now that we’ve defined (somewhat) what slow is and isn’t, let’s briefly cover why slow is necessary as a society (my book will cover much more detail).
We need to slow down and wake up, people.
Right now, greed and outdated principles are ruining our lives… and we’re going so fast, we don’t see it (as a whole). We can’t bitch about how things are going if we’re not slowing down long enough to think and do something about it.
But this isn’t a book, or a manifesto, about activism, so don’t worry about that. You can read Derrick Jensen or Bill McKibben if you’re interested in that topic (recommended).
We have to start somewhere, and “Slow” is where I’m starting. I hope you will too.
This manifesto is a companion to the new book I will be self publishing in 2014, titled:
In a world focused on speed, life begins by slowing down
NOTES: I wrote this manifesto before I started writing the book… and it came from a very “passionate place” in my writing. The manifesto represents more of how I see things from a “slow” perspective.
The book is going to be written with more research, resources, and references for you to enjoy.
You can continue your travels today by reading this blog post (opens in a new window), which inspired my initial investigation into the concept of a slow lifestyle… then I recommend downloading my free short guide titled “Life As I See It.”
Also, there are many other books on the subject, such as “In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honore.
I’ve discovered this is a huge movement of sorts, from slow food to different ways to approach speeding laws. You’ll discover, as I did, that we’ve deviated from a much simpler time in our evolution as humans.
I hope that by reading the upcoming book, and from visiting the resources and articles on this site, you’ll at least consider the possibility of slowing down your life (if you aren’t already).
If I’ve helped at least one person in that regard… this whole effort will be more than worth it.