Lately I constantly run into exciting articles. Today, I have another one I would like to share with you – this time from the current magazine GEO, on the subject of “Slowing down – The praise of doing nothing”.
Burnouts, work life balance, treadmill, constant availability – all terms, which have become long running sagas and are constant topics in the media and over a beer after work.
A survey conducted in Germany shows that in 2013 65% of the 1,000 people surveyed representative already complained about an “excessive workload” and felt “worn out and used up”, while in 2009 only 28% claimed this. What an increase in just 4 years!
A long with the excessive workload the speed of time has also massively increased. Meanwhile, we are always and everywhere available, the first thing we do after waking up is accessing our smart phone and we often have trouble keeping pace with our, partially, self imposed tempo.
After many – in contrast to past times – have lost the belief in a life after death, we must find our happiness in the here and now and the time has to be used as intensively and comprehensively as possible. Have you ever used the term “leisure time stress”? Personally, I hear it at least as often as “overloaded” in my environment.
The article shows that the root of all evil can be found at the beginning of our time. Already the Bible says: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your bread”. This Christian morale was also adopted into the socialist ideas – even today the supporters of the labour movement sing: “Idlers push aside!”
Calmness and idleness is often equated with laziness, and laziness has a VERY wretched reputation. If you do not rush from one appointment to the other, you apparently have nothing to do.
Meanwhile, it would be high time to slow down, individually as well as societal and take back control over time.
Now there are the first counter movements to our society’s speed madness: “Slow Food” groups celebrate the slow, deliberate, enjoyable, cooking and eating of food,
“Cloud Lovers” look to the heavens, to see cloud poetry and those who can afford it, get themselves slow down oasis’s called work reduction, sabbaticals and parental part-time. But you can also relax by going for a walk in nature, listening to music and engaging in sports – however or wherever, we should start making time and space for idleness.
Perhaps we should simply look to the animal kingdom: The strongest animals are in fact also the laziest: The Tiger sleeps 16h a day, the lion 13.5 h a day and even the ever industrious worker bee only spends 20% of its day looking for nectar and her tasks in the hive.
Or we allow us to be shaken up by the blog posts of the Australian Bronnie Ware, which have also been published in book form. For eight years she cared for dying patients in a palliative care unit and listed what her patients regretted looking back on their life.
On Position 1: “I wish I had had the courage to live my own life.” 2: “I wish I had not worked so much.”
A lot to think about! I am doing my job with a lot of passion, but also I have to slow down from time to time, also to “digest” all the expericences!
I wish you a wonderful time! All the best, Birgit