For some reason, in the town where I’m living there have been signs popping up reminding us that we should focus on slow life. Indeed, we run through our days, and weeks. Work weeks here are a full six days. Weekends are Sunday only. Those kind of work weeks, along with very few holidays, can make (personal) life a tad too fast.
At the office, the typical Chinese worker called to a meeting or asked to do a task may break into a quick jog to get where he or she is going. It’s not unusual to see someone running from their desk to the conference room, not because they are late, but just to get there quickly.
Years ago I spent a long weekend in Seoul and had the opportunity to play 18 holes of golf, (at a time when I played). What was new for me was seeing Korean players running from hole to hole. They all had caddies, cute girls who held umbrellas (sun protection) and made sure the clubs followed them throughout the course. But in order to expedite their game, most players ran. Up to then, I thought the game was about de-expediting life.
It’s all relative anyhow, and that’s what makes life so interesting, understanding and knowing how to balance between meaningful vs trivial, deep vs shallow, (what it means to be) fast vs slow.
I’m not crazy about the six-day work week here, but as long as there is a campaign to slow life down, maybe living slowly will be the compensation my inner voice has been calling for, even though most times slow equates to boring. There are no golf courses here, just a driving range. If life does slow down, I just might meander over for a few slow swings. Or I may run over, bring a cute umbrella, and simply contemplate slow life.