Samara O'Shea

The Slower the Better

I caught the movie trailer for the documentary Food, Inc. (I thought it was forthcoming, but apparently it’s already out!), and it reminded me of letter writing. Yes it’s true that most things remind me of letter writing, but bear with me for a moment. Two weekends ago, I referred to letter writing as the organic way of communicating for the first time—it seems rather obvious in retrospect. Anyway, I love the concept of “organic” applying to more than food. Of course it should apply to food! It should also apply to relationships. And quilts. And traveling. And, again, communicating. We, as a society, spent the latter half of the 20th-century trying to make everything happen faster and be easier only to discover that there was something special about doing things slowly. A relationship—romantic or platonic—that unfolds slowly has a more solid foundation. A tomato that grows at its natural pace is healthier. A walk to the store is better for the environment and the walker. Writing a letter is more meaningful to the recipient and eye opening for the writer. A dress or a grandfather clock made by hand will last that much longer. There’s a Web site called GetRichSlowly, and it’s a great idea. Work up to your wealth. Earning it rather than expecting it is much more rewarding.

Of course, not all of the inventions that have come to us are bad and some certainly serve to improve our circumstances. It’s important though—now more than ever—to find balance between the two. If you find yourself at the crossroads of Instant Happiness and Success and Take Your Time Figuring Out What Happiness and Success Mean to You then I say it’s better to err on the slow side. In fact, I beg us all to take the scenic route more often.

The aforementioned movie trailer: