ONE THING SLOWLY
There’s haste in my mind and movement now as I write. There are so many things to do—so many ways I could—should perhaps?—be spending my time. Maybe if I move very quickly now then I can squeeze in some of those other things before the day is done? Maybe I can attempt several things at once? How efficient that plan! Imagine all I could do today… All that I might complete.
To what end?
Something needs to be done. That is, life. I need to live well. Not pleasantly perhaps, but well. Not productively perhaps, but well. A well-lived life is the noblest goal, where “well-lived” is defined as a life lived in pursuit of virtue. And where virtue is defined as the improvement of well-being. And where well-being is the general movement of the dial away from the direction of suffering and towards the direction of comfort, happiness and peace. Part of this is how we actually live from moment to moment. How we spend our time. How we think, act and the attributes and opinions we develop, support and share.
So, the ends then are less the goal than the means by which we achieve them. Unless there’s a fire we must hastily extinguish with water—and maybe not even then—it’s best we think and act slowly, at the pace of self-control and the cadence of reason. Let’s not do any more than one thing at once, and then let our lives become a passage and succession of disciplined thought and action; a form of individual endeavor—each as clear and complete as a single day between sunrise and sunset.
Notes from my muse