The importance of slowing down

Michael - 19087, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in the importance of slowing down.

I’m 17. I go to a highly competitive high school in which students are desperate to get ahead. I personally have found great difficulty in the system that I live in. We students are told to work hard, to try out best, to make sure we get into the best colleges. However, something is not right, not healthy with this competitive atmosphere. We are but rats running around in a maze searching desperately for an exit, getting shocked for every mistake that we make. And that’s another part of the problem. We don’t appreciate our mistakes enough.

Like most people, I make hundreds of mistakes every day, but I try not to let them hold me back in life. If I get a bad mark on a paper, or fail to get into some organization or club, I look at my mistake as an opportunity for self-improvement, for education, for knowledge. However society doesn’t want to see your mistakes, they want to see perfect answers demonstrating understanding and accomplishment. The real world doesn’t have time to strive for self-improvement, it’s much to busy with other affairs. And this is why I believe society should slow down and allow people to produce truly excellent work.

A few weeks ago, I was riding my bike in Valley Forge Park when I came upon a steep, insurmountable hill that seemed almost impossible to climb. Instead of forcing my way up the hill by grinding gears to get speed, I took my time and slowly worked my way up. I discovered that by slowing down I was actually going faster. This moment made me reflect on my life and recognize that the best moments were the ones in which I slowed down; something that is hard to do with all the pressure from homework, tests, etc.

Slowing down allowed me to think clearer, work harder, and actually move faster. Sometimes I have taken tests under pressure, and in these situations I was eager to move through them at a vehement pace. Naturally, I made many mistakes, but when I slowed down I would put forth quality work. This is a fine line drawn by society; sometimes there is simply not enough time to put your best work forward. However, I feel that quality should never be sacrificed in the name of time. What sorts of world are we living in if we can’t wait just a little longer for something?

In order to accelerate in life; you have to slow down, and enjoy the journey. If you just run as fast as you can, trying to climb every hill, you’ll run out of energy and not make it up there. But if you relax, keep moving, and relish in the beautiful scenery, you will be able to overcome any obstacle you encounter.