In a world where speed is loved, we have forgotten the pleasure of enjoying the process.
“Thanks to speed, we live in the age of rage.”
– Carl Honoré
The story is a simple one. I went to get my hair cut as usual, but to a new barbershop that had recently opened close to my home. I went with limited time since after that I had several meetings to attend. In my mind, I estimated 30 minutes at most to cut my hair. Zut Alors! (as the French would say). I was there for an hour.
Some of us might say this is inefficient. For a city where time runs fast and there is never time for anything, this is completely outrageous. But, in a world where humanism and new ways are missing, this is hope.
Decades ago, the famous ‘Slow Movement’ appeared to slow processes and highlight quality. It all started with the ‘Slow Food’ movement. It is searching for a shift within the current system since it indeed generates wealth but at the cost of unsustainability and inequality. This movement, as Carl Honoré explains, offers a balance in the way of doing things. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, yet the point is to do it at the correct speed
The whole system we live in is based on time. “Time is Money”, does it ring a bell? Then, why don’t we start changing the processes in our own hands and enjoying our lives – and the limited, precious time we have?
We can start to embrace this movement and we can start going for quality, by appreciating the practices, linking products with their places and stories. By doing so, we could start achieving a change towards a system that works for both the people and the planet. Not the other way around.
That day, as I sat there in the barber shop, when I realised that my usual hair cut was going take longer. I decided something: to enjoy it. Cutting my hair could be part of an everyday routine. But that day it became something extraordinary for me, for that specific moment and beyond that. I enjoyed the whole process, the experience of the hairdresser, his kindly interaction, the time he spent preparing a coffee for me, the meticulous preparation of every tool… of everything.
To achieve this, we need to change our way of thinking and our way of respecting time (ours and others’ – enjoying the process doesn’t mean not being punctual). Enjoying the process is what this world needs.
Read you soon.
I know I’ve recommended him several times before, but I’ll do it once more. If you want to know more about ‘Slow Movement’, this Carl Honoré’s book is a great place to start:
Honoré, C. (2004). In Praise of Slow. How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging The Cult of Speed. Great Britain: Orion Books.