This is so true - we are all apparently very busy these days. It's seems like its' almost come to the point where if by chance you are not busy, it would be embarrassing to say so, that your life is a bit inadequate, if you are not frantic. That we are somehow a better and more worthwhile human being if we are flat-out.
I like what Junot Diaz says - he's a writer who I've only recently discovered. How could you not slow down, if you were to "listen" to the art. Art can only be savoured if it's appreciated slowly - anyway, that's what I'm imagining he's meaning here.
That got me thinking about other things that might be better appreciated by just taking our time. There's the obvious things like being amongst nature, regardless of where or what it is. Or eating, or reading a book. But not being on the internet - which has been one of the main culprits in speeding us all up and leaving us all with the attention spans of goldfish...
I was thinking too, how as parents, we sometimes need to appreciate kids more slowly.... For instance in the busy-ness of parents own lives, I'm hearing from increasing numbers of kids (especially adolescents) that parents are not available to them. Even if they are physically present, they are often busy, or distracted, or locked into their screens. A piece of research I read supports this, claiming that approximately 70% of the verbal exchanges between parents and adolescents are instructional in nature - ie. many parents are distracted, or too busy to just kick back and talk, or do some slow stuff with their kids.
We increasingly connect things like hard work and frenetic activity in general as being desirable human behaviours. And maybe they are - but with our important relationships, the reverse is true. These deserve the slowing down that enables us to focus on them and value them for what they are really worth.
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."