Portions of this post were originally published on my other site The Good Human back in 2007, but I thought the book should definitely be mentioned here as well.
One of my favorite books of all time is “Slow is Beautiful – New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie De Vivre” by Cecile Andrews and I recommend it to anyone who thinks that the high-paced fast-moving community of today is only going to end in one giant burnout. Although I am working on slowing down my life more and more nowadays (step one was moving to the country), keeping this book on the bookshelf in front of me reminds me to keep working at it. It is a never-ending process, in my mind.
The slow movement is not so much a “slow down when driving” thing as a “slow down when going through life” thing. Cecile Andrews talks about an experience with an SUV driver screaming and throwing raisins at someone because the person was taking too much time to park their car…and realized that our community has turned on itself all in the name of speed, money, status and greed. I tend to agree. The have’s are having more and more while the have not’s are losing even more ground. People are buying McMansion’s so their neighbors and families will think that they are rich, corporations are giving multi-million dollar bonuses to executives who fail while cutting bonuses and health care for the general employee population. Instead of helping each other out, it seems that everyone is out for themselves…and speeding along happily towards their demise. Not stopping to play with their kids, take a look at nature, enjoy a sunset…just gotta keep buying, consuming, earning, stealing, DOING. As long as they are busy, it is harder to see how unhappy they really are. (I used to be like this too…)
Although I normally get most of my books from the library (to both reduce waste and save money), I do buy books that I feel I will read again and again. If you are finding yourself falling into the trap of consumerism and a high-speed life and are looking for tips on how to slow down, I really recommend this book. I have read it several times now, and will always keep referring to it when I feel like things are getting out of control.