"I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped."
(Fritz Perls, 1969)
Oh Fritzy. Were that it were so simple. Without specific awareness of adoption, most people do practice this elegantly simple directive. Others try, strive and fail because they have eyes to see, ears to hear and noses to smell. They are inundated with affronts to their pursuit of tranquility with seemingly nowhere to turn.
"This website supports a growing cultural shift towards slowing down. On this site we discuss how we have lost connection to most aspects of our life and to the natural world and rhythms around us, and how we can reconnect – how we can live a connected life. The Slow Movement is a worldwide movement to recapture meaningful connection. The movement is gaining momentum, as more and more people recognise their discomfort at the fast pace and disconnected nature of their lives."
Sounds good. But wait...
What happens to a "slow down" movement when it GAINS momentum? How slow can you go?
Does having worldwide ambitions of slowness contradict the founding principles of a slowdown movement? Can you find meaningful connection by disconnection? Is it possible to disconnect in place? Or does one need to migrate to a slow zone? How do these zones handle the steady growth as more and more people show up to slow down? Where does it start? When will it end? Do you see the difficulty?
Many people find that getting knocked down by forces beyond their ken or control can make one more aware of what is truly important. These individual epiphanies may even spark an evangelical crusade to spread the word far and wide of a need to adjust one's priorities.
Still the rest of the world hurtles on. Oblivious to you and your sincere desire for a slower, saner planet. You become a straggler. Out of step, out of place and out of time. There are few niches where one can totally escape the gravitational pull of society. Even in the most backward of places there are near constant demands to move faster just to stay even.
Of course there is one sure way to prod on the slow movement. Collapse. Picking up the pieces would be a full-time job though. Then there would be the whole predator/prey situation to work out. What's a body to do?
Monday, November 15, 2010