Speed Demon

Daily Meditation #309–12/28/2022


Free Light Trails on Highway at Night Stock Photo

By doing things with haste, what are we missing?

With a 20 mile drive to work, going 55mph means you arrive in ~21 minutes.
Going 70 (on the 55 “suggested” road) you only save 4 minutes.

This isn’t a rant about speeding in a car, either!

When we hurry, hurry, scurry to get places, we end up missing out. 

On a vacation, we are so eager to reach the destination that we put on our mental blinders, ignoring the infinite opportunities to enjoy the world around us.

We ignore the beauty of the components of the world when we hasten through our journeys. 

Instead of rushing through the airport only to sit on your phone for 2 hours preflight, take a slow stroll. Watch the other humans — how they walk. How they’re interacting. How the old man watches his wife with love in his eyes (or perhaps contempt!).

Instead of speeding off to work, rushing to get into our 5'x5' prison of carpeted walls, Dilbert comics, and the hanging stench of angst, drive slower. Enjoy the sunrise. Watch the trees and fenceposts on the side of the highways for falcons and hawks. Count how many joggers you see. Mind the patterns painted on the barns. See how many “rats” scurry by you at 65, 75, 85 or more to get to their self-inflicted prisons.

Instead of just going to the gym and blasting your workout as quick as you can, really slow down the reps. 1 second contracting? Then give it 2 or 3 on the let down. See all the different sorts of people on the health spectrum — the married doctors with their 9-out-of-10 physiques who eat quinoa salad for lunch every day right down to the New Year Guy who lost 5, 10, 50 pounds. Mind the rusted chinks in the plates. How many different forms of “45s” does your gym have?

Haste makes waste, as they say.

We don’t need to be “that guy” or a putz, by any means, but this is an invitation to simply slow down…just a little and to be conscientious of the world around you…Of the people and places and things.

Slow down.

What do you see?
What have you missed?

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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