Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Slow Movement: Its Relevance to Sustaining Community

The Slow Movement has its origins in the Slow Food movement. It began as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Rome. This evolved into a variety of Slow initiatives.

Geir Berthelsen created The World Institute of Slowness in 1999 (http://www.theworldinstituteofslowness.com/) with a vision for an entire ‘Slow Planet.’ Professor Guttorm Fløistad summarizes the philosophy as follows:

The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Movement)

This philosophy aptly describes the importance of creating the time to nurture relationships and to engage in activities that would bring people together to enable a sense of belonging to a community. As a result individuals are able to celebrate the joys and mourn the sorrows together that leads to healthy and harmonious lifestyles.

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