Let's try life in the slow lane

10:30, May 04, 2011      

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I recently read an article that impressed me very much. Its message was: We are on a fast train – so fast that we cannot even see the view from the window.

So how fast is it?

Huang Shuo

An economist, after surveying the annual growth of per capita income in various countries, said that one year in China is equivalent to about four in the United States, and one year in Britain is equivalent to about 3.1 months in China.

That is, an American has to live four years to experience the kind of changes a Chinese person sees in a year.

That's fast.

I was racking my brains to pick a topic for this column when a colleague stopped me in the corridor: "You should write about slowing down our lives," she said. She looked exhausted from constantly battling to meet deadlines.

Yes, it is time to stop and think about the price we pay for our breathless lifestyle and reflect on what we are losing along the way.

To keep up with the fast pace of life, we eat fast food, which robs us of the pleasure of enjoying healthy, clean and tasty food; we read fast stories full of sensational celebrity gossip; we go to fast love (speed dating) parties in the hope of finding an ideal mate from among the dozens we are only allowed to speak to for a few minutes; and we fast-track our children, forcing primary school kids to read junior high textbooks.

Above all, we have lost the experience of life. In our struggle for a better future, we have sacrificed the present.

Yuan Xiaojuan, a magazine journalist who died of cancer at the age of 35, wrote in her blog just days before her death: "We live in such a rush that we forget about our inner feelings and what life is all about."

In this mad rush, we ignore all the seemingly insignificant, but precious, details. No sooner do we understand one idea than we are bombarded with a new one. The fast life deprives us of not only the experience of life, but of life itself.

【1】 【2】

By Huang Shuo, china.org.cn
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