Slow It Down

Joe - lavalette, West Virginia
Entered on October 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Francois de La Rochefoucauld once said “When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” This is a belief that he held, and I agree. But a person doesn’t need meditation or reclusion to find this tranquility, all they need is to walk a little more leisurely.

Every day in the halls of Spring Valley there is an unwarranted panic amongst the peers. Just the thought of visiting in-school suspension can whisk your average student to his class. That is the average student though, I am not that person.

I am the person who won’t miss the crack in the wall or the backpack strap pinched by the shut locker. Nor will I miss the sight of someone who has a strange gait or facial expression. Noticing these minute things can make my day that much more peaceful. Knowing that the whole world isn’t perfect can really put things into perspective. It is taking away one stressor in a whole life of stressors.

This doesn’t just apply to school though, it applies to any situation. When I used to live in Pennsylvania, my friends and I would often walk to share a pizza. The first few trips, they would complain about my pace, but over time they started to appreciate the sights with me. They learned to appreciate the single tree whose leaves changed before the rest, and the way wind would make the leaves whimsically flutter about. After a few trips they become treks, or so it seemed that way as the five minute walk turned into twenty. And we appreciated the beauty of the world around us. And in those few moments, our troubles slipped away, and we became the people we wanted to become.

The only problem with this idea of walking slow is people will never give up their ways. The businessmen in New York with appointments to keep or meetings to attend will make no efforts to heed my words. Not even my friends from the pizza walks listened to me. The next day at school, I was walking alone again, just as I was on the day before that. They miss the tranquility that fuels me each and every day. So as everyone else hurries on by, the next time you notice something beautiful, just slow it down and enjoy.