Thursday, October 23, 2014


If only I could follow this advice, during the working
day in my school-teaching job, here in New York City...

If I could say one word to all the folk
who’d care to hear, the word I’d say to them
is “Slow.”

Walk slower to your work and back.  And work
a little slower, taking more of care
and even fussing, with the work you do.

In speech, be slower. Be considerate.
Refrain from words that hurt or give offence.
And don’t say, “Hurry.” Modulate your speech
to give yourselves and those who hear the time
to truly speak and hear what’s said.  Recall
that speaking is an art, as hearing is –
and neither should be rushed or desperate.

Be slower in your thoughts and actions. Think
of what you do and what its purpose is.

Compulsive thought and speech and action lead
to more compulsion and to misery.

But you might say that in the mad stampede,
the one who slows or pauses might be killed.
And you are right in this, to some degree.

So slow a teeny bit.  Let others slow
around you.  Give them time to breathe.
Perhaps you’ll see, about you, grows a space
where beings are, as beings true –
where there is time – that precious time they need
for thought, reflection, noticing, for care –
for wonder, musing – even hope and love…

The greed and fear that drive the human world,
the engines of our mad economies –
have made us hurry, hurry through our lives –
with little time for pause and savoring.

Resist. Resist the hurry, fear and greed.
Resist the rush – be gentle in your ways…

So breathe the air and slowly let it out…
Be slow, in what you do and speak and think.

Let others hurry, hurry to their graves.
Go slowly, slowly to the death that waits,
so when you leave, you’ll know that you have lived
and left some space, so others too can live.

And so I say, to all who care to hear,
“Go slow, go slow, and spread the word to all.

“And most will disregard you, some will laugh
and others vilify you.  Let them be.

“But others, you will find, will hear, and they
will also try to take the time to pause,
to notice and to care – to slow again
and be what you and they can truly be.”
2014  October 22nd, Wed., 6:04 am
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York



Real World said...

Beautifully written critical message especially for educators! Thank you.

Arjun Janah said...

Dear Real World:

Thanks for reading and for the helpful comment.