“Walking takes longer … than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus, it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed.” ~ Edward Abbey, Walking …
Life, for a lot of us, is a busy endeavor; it is a hurried journey from awakening to slumber in which we often accomplish much, but experience very little. And how can we blame ourselves? Society, after all, ingrains into our line of thought the notion that doing things quickly allows us to achieve more. But speed can be a damaging element in our lives when there is no need for it. And our efforts to live in such a state can have serious negative repercussions on our lives and the lives of those around us, whether that be a doctor, nurse, architect, construction worker, soldier, teacher, pastor. Suffice it to say that any individual in a profession in which people depend on them, who makes speed their priority, does so by putting others’ lives at grave risk.
When we are fully aware and in control of the moments in our lives, we allow ourselves the opportunity to experience a deep repose for our body, mind, and soul. There we can discover that we do not need to run, jog, or even speed-walk to burn calories or simply enjoy the outdoors. In fact, for many of us, a casual walk can be just as calming, relaxing, and fulfilling as meditation, for it allows us to think things through more clearly, finding a sense of clarity much more quickly and accurately than when we rush ourselves.
Of course, this does not mean that we should live all of our life at a snail’s pace, as there are times when speed is of the essence. For instance, the medical staff and doctors in an emergency room often have to make quick decisions, and it is much the same for air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs. Then there are factory workers often have hourly quotas to meet, and reporters and journalists who generally have very concrete timelines to stick to and deadlines to meet. And yet there are always going to be times and situations in each of our lives in which we would benefit greatly from slowing down, thinking things through more clearly, and reflecting upon life more deeply.
Do not neglect those moments in your life that call for walking. The more time spent taking life easy and going with the flow, the more we get to experience internal peace and tranquility in our lives and the better we begin to feel about ourselves and what we are doing. After all, life truly is too short to waste on speed, and our mind, body, and soul all need to experience the calm serenity that comes from slowing down.
Take a walk today.
Questions to consider:
Why do so few people make or take the time for walking?
How could you fit more walking into your daily schedule?
What benefits does speed really have for most of our activities? Are those benefits worth the trade-off of losing time to slow down?
For further thought:
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast–you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~ Eddie Cantor