Friday, May 13, 2005

Life in the 'Fast Lane'

After reading Archana's blog entry on Quater Life Crisis I have been thinking about other things that bother us(People in their twenties).

"Being Twenty-Something" syndrome... as she puts it is an interesting phenomenon.

Job insecurity, growth within the organization, competition from peers and striving to maintain the right balance are some of the problems that people in this group face.

I feel that the basic problem lies with a fast pace of life and the concept of 'Survival of the Fittest'. Everyone here is trying to out pace the other...

In this 'Fast Lane' many people have to cope with insecurity-security, depression-happiness, sadness-happiness... and this cycle continues. There are some people who are sucessful at an earlier part in their life and seem to be moving towards it while others seem to be strugling. Some struggle... Why face these issues and why struggle... there is an alternative... read on 'Take Your Time'. [An article from Times Of India]


GenX is challenging speed with the slow movement. More people are now enjoying the small pleasures of life

EVERYONE’S in the fast lane. But faster is not always better. It’s something some people the world over are finding out, albeit slowly. In this age of time-bankruptcy, the need for speed in everything we do, be it eating, working, or even family time, is taking its toll on the quality of life. But a silent, yet strong movement is looking speed in the face and teaching people to take time to experience things and savour whatever they do. It’s called The Slow Movement; it advocates quality living, getting more from life and of course, taking it slow.

The Slow Movement is extending to various aspects of life and is gaining more followers. It has been active for a while in Europe and is picking up in America with initiatives like Take Back Your Time. Carl Honore, writer, selfconfessed ‘recovered speedaholic’ and author of the bestseller In Praise of Slow(ness): How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed, is considered the unofficial ambassador of the slow movement. He had his epiphany while reading about a book of one-minute bedtime stories, which he wanted to buy for his son. He has said, “The movement is not ab o u t d o i n g everything at a snail’s pace, or returning the world to some sort of pre-industrial utopia. It’s about regular people who want to live better in a fast-paced, modern world. This is why the Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word: balance.” In his book, Honore cautions not to confuse “slow” with “sloth”.

The Slow Food Movement is one of the most popular slow movements and began in Italy in 1986. Slow Food urges people to rediscover the flavours of regional cooking. Slow Food advocates both healthy ingredients in cooking as well as taking time to e n j oy meals. Says re s t a u r a - teur Arjun Sajnani, “I agree with the concept. In fact, a good meal should take about two hours on an average, from start to finish. I budget two hours per table at my restaurant. I tell myself and my chefs to cook food slowly and make even the preparation an enjoyable experience. I would love to slow down more.”

Slow Food encouraged the birth of the Slow Cities (Cittaslow) movement. Besides encouraging slow food, slow cities advocate recovery and reuse methods to maintain and develop the charm of their surrounding area and urban fabric. Cycling and walking are part of the activities encouraged by the slow city movement to improve the quality of life of their citizens. Says A r v i n d Krishnan, head of a life enrichment centre, “I’m totally convinced about the slow city movement. I would love to see people spend more time doing things they love. Long lunches may not be practical though.” SLOW SEX: When rock icon Sting boasted of hours of Tantric sex with his wife, eyebrows were raised. Is slow good even in sex? Tantric sex is an integral part of the slow sex movement which is all about the art of unhurried lovemaking. “When you slow down and enjoy sex, it spills into various aspects of your life. That can only make life better,” says a counsellor.

There’s also a slow return to slower activities like therapy-holidays, meditation, tai chi, knitting and stitching, where the pace is yours and you are not cramming things into a time slot. Says yoga expert Sridhar Rao, “It’s good to take it slow, especially with such activities as you don’t feel stressed out. Relaxation and stretching are as good as any fast-paced activity.” Various towns abroad have also adopted go-slow movements where shops sell local artisan’s wares and use locally grown foods at restaurants. Some cities are also putting cars in back alleys by designing pedestrian-friendly roadways in their neighbourhoods.


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