work fast. You eat fast. You fall in love fast. But to find real happiness, all
you have to do is. . . SLOW DOWN. More and more women are questioning their
need for speed. Are you? Marie Claire investigates "the slow
THE SLOW DOWN MOVEMENT
Photography by Eric Cahan
Every day, you race against the clock-battling traffic, speed-dialing your
cell phone, and grabbing takeout. Ever pause to wonder, What is the big hurry?
Now there's hope, as an increasing number of voices clamor for change.
"Dropping out" isn't the goal; "slowing down" is. Whether you
rush through jobs, meals, or friendships, the global "slow movement"
promises you'll enjoy life more by doing less. Former speedaholic and
Londonbased journalist Carl Honoré wrote about the movement in his best seller
In Praise of Slowness (HarperSanFrancisco), flying off bookshelves in 22
MC: WHY SLOW DOWN?
CH: One day, while contemplating ways to shorten "story time"
with my son, I realized it's absurd to accelerate things that should not be
accelerated. Around the world, we've wound ourselves into a state of impatience
and overstimulation, and it's taking a toll on us. I traveled all over to meet
people in the "slow movement" and came to believe they were on to
something. We're waking up to the fact that the way we live now is just wrong,
and we're seeking new ways to approach every day. My book is just part of
MC: WHY IS THE MESSAGE STRIKING A CHORD NOW?
CH: The new information-technology revolution allows-encourages-us to
keep buzzing 24/7. We're all addicted to running toward a finish line we never
reach. If we haven't already reached a breaking point, we're close.
MC: YOU WRITE ABOUT "THE CULT OF SPEED." WHAT IS IT?
CH: Our culture puts a premium on speed, deifying this notion that
faster is better, that you must fill every single moment with activity. There's
a powerful taboo that makes "slow" a dirty word. In this hyped-up
world, we need to keep an eye on our personal speedometers- it's very easy to
do things fast just because everything else around you is going fast, without
even considering whether or not it makes sense.
MC: WHY IS SLOWING DOWN SO DIFFICULT?
CH: We've forgotten how to switch off. There are Internet-addiction
centers now. The Blackberry is known as the "Crackberry." Technology
lets us multitask, so we're in "multimoments" all the time. We can't
concentrate on just one thing anymore. One antidote is to simply rediscover the
"off " button on some of these gadgets.
MC: ARE AMERICANS PARTICULARLY ADDICTED?
CH: Americans' natural tendency is to go fast, perhaps because the U.S.
is a young country with a dynamic frontier history. That restlessness informs
the American psyche, on the work front in particular: Working hours have come
down everywhere except in the United States, where they keep going up! But
working such long hours puts a squeeze on everything else.