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The Value of Slow

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging


In the book, ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,’ author Rachel Joyce tells the fictional story of a man named Harold Fry that is making a pilgrimage on foot to see a dying friend. His journey is over 600 miles! It evolves into a story of transformation, not about his method of transportation! One particular line struck me - now that he had accepted the slowness, he took pleasure in the distance he covered. What a thought-provoking line as we apply it to aging. As our physical abilities change, we may have to consider what blessings are in disguise. Our culture thrives on the importance of speed, strength, brainpower, shrewdness, et.al. If we’re not careful, we may feel that as those attributes decline, we are left deficient. Nothing could be further from the truth; new opportunities arrive.

The unlikely philosopher, songwriter Mac Davis, wrote, “Hey Mister, where you going in such a hurry, don’t you think it’s time you realized. There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry. All the sweetest things in life are free. And they’re right before your eyes. You’ve got to stop and smell the roses. You’ve got to count your many blessings every day.” We have the opportunity to exchange speed and agility for characteristics like deliberate, attentive, thoughtful, and kind. If we consider aging as a blessed time for refocusing and reframing, we’ll be surprised by the joy that it creates. There are some 80 year-olds that can run a marathon, but if your best is walking from your recliner to the bathroom…good for you! Take pleasure in the abilities you have. We can all walk 600 miles, given the time. Who’s counting? The real goal is transformation into a considerate, deliberate, and thoughtful person.

“Direction is much more important than speed.” Anonymous

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