It takes time to create sustainable human habitats. It takes time to slow down a society with so much prestige and emotion invested in the myth that faster is better. How long it takes to demystify this – and make the necessary transition – depends on our willingness to change our thinking, our willingness to take control over our lives.
Thought of as a starting point for transition, the International Day of Slowness is an initiative for demilitarization and universal peace, a day of recovery and hospitality, a manifestation against greed and hatred, a day of gratitude and kindness, as well as an opportunity for dialogue and reflection.
Occupy Space and Time
When the roads are washed away, we do not have any use of cars. When the polar ice caps are melting, we finally decide to change speed. We know too well that it is impossible to make wise decisions at too high a speed. The speed of environmental change is not unrelated to the speed of our daily lives.
On June 21, we stop our motor vehicles and connect with the land. Instead of driving away from our problems or constantly distracting ourselves, we walk together, observe the processes and patterns of nature, and reflect on what it means to be a slow human.
Acceleration is not the answer to our needs, just as little as war is the answer to limited resources. As soon as we begin to breathe slower, move slower, and slow down our mode of communication, a more friendly and peaceful society is emerging. Step-by-step, we occupy our common habitat. Step-by-step, we begin to share our common future.
Saving Our Common Future
More money and power in the hands of the ruling elite will not eliminate poverty, inequality, gender oppression, or overuse of common resources. Instead of saving our lives, the rich and powerful are already about to destroy the very foundation of life.
On June 21, we are reminded that it is time to lessen the burden on people and ecosystems, time to begin the shift to a sustainable society. We are also reminded that we are at a turning point, in the sense that we now have the opportunity to globalize the struggle for an alternative to profiteering, exploitation, and corruption.
One day will not heal the biosphere, but in one day we can begin the process of changing our mode of thinking from fast to slow, and peacefully break the dangerous monopoly of capitalism. It is, we believe, our collective responsibility to give our planet a fair chance to recover.