“I think living fast is not living, it's surviving.
“Our culture instills in us the fear of wasting time, but the paradox is that acceleration makes us waste our lives.
“Today everyone suffers from the disease of time: the obsessive belief that time is running out and that you have to pedal faster and faster.
"Speed is a way not to face what happens to your body and mind, to avoid the important questions ...
"We constantly travel in the fast lane, full of emotions, adrenaline and stimuli, and this means that we never have the time and tranquility we need to reflect and ask ourselves what is really important."
These words of the Canadian journalist Carl Honoré in his “In praise of slowness” invite us to reflect. We are so worried about not missing a detail, so worried about drinking hastily until the last sip, that we do not realize that in a hurry our life escapes us.
The modern paradox: the more we try to do, the more everything will escape us
The faster we live, the more we will be confused by our own rhythm, falling victim to the vertigo that prevents us from seeing beyond the daily occupations, of that constant movement through which life escapes us from second to second.
This state of hyperactivity leads us to live by inertia, with the automatic pilot always on, dedicating all our energies to external objectives that oxidize over time and make us forget what are really important things in life.
We think that the busier we are, the more we enjoy life and we are even proud of having a full agenda, of not having a free minute. But when we move from one commitment to another, we let others decide for us. Then we submit, more or less unconsciously, to the social dictatorship, which encourages us to go faster and faster because it knows that speed takes away the time to think, a precious time to connect with ourselves and decide what we really want.
When we live fast, we constantly look to a future that is already planned and decided to the millimeter. We are encouraged to do more and more in the shortest time possible, but that doesn't necessarily give us more satisfaction.
Today, haste is not limited to work, it has contaminated all spheres of life, also extending to free time. You have to see more in the shortest possible time, try more, take a selfie quickly and another ... photos that, incidentally, will remain in oblivion and only from time to time we will use to show that we have been there, a vague reminder of what it could have been but it was not.
This haste leaves no room for the necessary break that invites reflection and creativity. Silence and rest, two basic needs, have practically become a luxury. This haste actually reduces our ability to have fun and feel pleasure, it prevents us from enjoying the small details.
There is another way to live: the eternal instant
If we want to live in society, sometimes we have no choice but to stick to the modern rush. There aren't many alternatives, especially at work. However, we need to make sure it doesn't become the standard that permeates our life. We must protect our right to live life in slow motion to enjoy what we love, silently and without guilt.
In Buddhism there is a very interesting concept that can become a kind of antidote to haste: the eternal instant. According to this philosophy, if we live fully present in the here and now, the past and the future blur. When we are fully aware, when our mind is not in what we have left to finish or in what we have already done, but in what we are doing, we enjoy more.
So life stops being an obstacle course and becomes a wonderful reality to live. It's worth a change, don't you think?