C4 Speech, By Paulina Chao, 2006/8/1
Picture: what is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up? Is it opening the curtains? Brushing your teeth? Doing exercise? Or worrying if you can complete today’s work? Actually, the first thing we do is looking at a clock. If it is still early, we would go back to the bed. If it’s late, we would jump from our bed and rush to work. We live in a time river and time flies. How can we fight against the clock?
The industry is doing us a big favor. We live in a world filled of machines. We have washing machines, vacuums machines, and dishwasher machines to save time from housework. We don’t need to wash all our clothes by hand like our grandma. We have telephones, computers, and fax machines to make our work more efficient. Airplanes and cars can take us almost anywhere we want. These inventions leave us more time to enjoy our life. They change our lifestyle and extend our life in a special way. As we can clearly see, machines are useful for fighting against the clock.
Three hundred years ago, someone predicted that in the future due to technology, we would only need to work two to three hours per day. People will spend most of their time for entertainment. The words “fast, quick, rush or hurry” will disappear. Unfortunately, the prediction has been proven to be just a dream. The truth is the opposite. Life’s footstep is becoming faster than ever before. The word “karoshi” was coined few years ago. This Japanese word means "death from overwork”. People lead a life with such a busy pace, which they pay for with their health. Although machines save us time, we still overwork to fulfill our desires in a competitive world.
Increased pressures and anxieties are causing mental and heart diseases. People are starting to review their lives footstep. They find a slower life make us happier and healthier. The master coffee advertisement says “We should waste our life on the beautiful moments. Sometimes, just with a cup of coffee or tea to drink slowly, we can smell it by our nose and taste it by our tongue. Sometimes, just listen to a lovely song, we can imagine the world. In these moments, we can tell “this is life!” We can enjoy more about life when we slow down. More and more people start to lead a slower life and enjoy it. We can see this trend from the rage of yoga, meditation, jogging, and handicrafts. The Spanish slang says “Those who run faster will reach the grave firstly”. I believe no one likes to speed up under these conditions.
Now we come to one question: what is a suitable speed for living? The fact is, there is no certain standard on how fast or how slow you should be. Your speed should be whatever you feel is comfortable. We should learn how to control time, and not be controlled by time. We can combine a fast life and a slow life together, making it balance like playing music. Include allegro, moderato, and lento for the rhythm; working fast, while eating and reading slowly. These choices are all up to you. The life will be diversified and rich when it goes in different tempos. Let us play a right rhythm for our life.