Smarter, harder, faster.
It is the mantra of U.S. corporate culture, which calls itself as the American Way, whatever that is.
What it means is that we, the ordinary human beings who form the workforce that generates profits for the business world, never do enough, never complete it fast enough, never finish the list of things awaiting us each day.
Years ago, before computer technology sped the workday up to what we today consider normal, there were waiting periods, moments of silence, even rest, in the office. After all, if you had to wait a week for a letter to get to a client, you didn’t immediately have to respond to his email.
“Technology, because it eliminates waiting periods, means you get your work done faster — and will have increased free time!” was the message bandied about.
The reality looks more like this: “Technology, because it eliminates waiting periods, means you get your work done faster — so you can do more of it in the same time period!”
The artwork, Quiet Contemplation, represents a way of thinking totally opposite to our business-oriented, performance-driven, work-worshiping lifestyle. Strolling through a country garden, a young woman stops to look more closely at a flower. Almost without thinking, her hand reaches out — slowly, gently, quietly because flowers, much like people, do not take kindly to being grabbed, pushed, shoved, and roughly treated.
By acting smarter, working harder, moving faster she will make no difference in the speed with which the flower grows. The flower will grow as it grows — slowly — as it was designed to grow.
So it is with us, precious and creative human beings who were designed to be so much more than machines that breathe: our heart beats at a certain rate; our breath is measured and regular; our steps only move so fast.
Sometime, anytime, during this week, purposefully slow down and be aware of your movements. There will always be something to do, and, if we continue to allow business corporate thoughts to dictate our own, never enough time to do it in.
Take the time that you have, and live.
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