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Do Not Hurry

Categories: Uncategorized
Sources: Nerves And Common Sense

HOW can any one do anything well while in a constant state of rush?

How can any one see anything clearly while in a constant state of

rush? How can any one expect to keep healthy and strong while in a

constant state of rush?

But most of my readers may say, "I am not in a constant state of

rush--I only hurry now and then when I need to hurry."

The answer to that is "Prove it, prove it." Study
yourself a little,

and see whether you find yourself chronically in a hurry or not.

If you will observe yourself carefully with a desire to find the

hurry tendency, and to find it thoroughly, in order to eliminate it,

you will be surprised to see how much of it there is in you.

The trouble is that all our standards are low, and to raise our

standards we must drop that which interferes with the most wholesome

way of living.

As we get rid of all the grosser forms of hurry we find in ourselves

other hurry habits that are finer and more subtle, and gradually our

standards of quiet, deliberate ways get higher; we become more

sensitive to hurry, and a hurried way of doing things grows more and

more disagreeable to us.

Watch the women coming out of a factory in the dinner hour or at six

o'clock. They are almost tumbling over each other in their hurry to

get away. They are putting on their jackets, pushing in their

hatpins, and running along as if their dinner were running away from


Something akin to that same attitude of rush we can see in any large

city when the clerks come out of the shops, for their luncheon hour,

or when the work of the day is over.

If we were to calculate in round numbers the amount of time saved by

this rush to get away from the shop, we should find three minutes,

probably the maximum--and if we balance that against the loss to

body and mind which is incurred, we should find the three minutes'

gain quite overweighted by the loss of many hours, perhaps days,

because of the illness which must be the result of such habitual


It is safe to predict when we see a woman rushing away from factory

or shop that she is not going to "let up" on that rate of speed

until she is back again at work. Indeed, having once started brain

and body with such an exaggerated impetus, it is not possible to

quiet down without a direct and decided use of the will, and how is

that decided action to be taken if the brain is so befogged with the

habit of hurry that it knows no better standard?

One of the girls from a large factory came rushing up to the kind,

motherly head of the boarding house the other day saying:--

"It is abominable that I should be kept waiting so long for my

dinner. I have had my first course and here I have been waiting

twenty minutes for my dessert."

The woman addressed looked up quietly to the clock and saw that it

was ten minutes past twelve.

" What time did you come in?" she said. "At twelve o'clock."

"And you have had your first course?"


"And waited twenty minutes for your dessert?"

"Yes!" (snappishly).

"How can that be when you came in at twelve o'clock, and it is now

only ten minutes past?"

Of course there was nothing to say in answer, but whether the girl

took it to heart and so raised her standard of quiet one little bit,

I do not know.

One can deposit a fearful amount of strain in the brain with only a

few moments' impatience.

I use the word "fearful" advisedly, for when the strain is once

deposited it is not easily removed, especially when every day and

every moment of every day is adding to the strain.

The strain of hurry makes contractions in brain and body with which

it is impossible to work freely and easily or to accomplish as much

as might be done without such contractions.

The strain of hurry befogs the brain so that it is impossible for it

to expand to an unprejudiced point of view.

The strain of hurry so contracts the whole nervous and muscular

systems that the body can take neither the nourishment of food nor

of fresh air as it should.

There are many women who work for a living, and women who do not

work for a living, who feel hurried from morning until they go to

bed at night, and they must, perforce, hurry to sleep and hurry


Often the day seems so full, and one is so pressed for time that it

is impossible to get in all there is to do, and yet a little quiet

thinking will show that the important things can be easily put into

two thirds of the day, and the remaining third is free for rest, or

play, or both.

Then again, there is real delight in quietly fitting one thing in

after another when the day must be full, and the result at the end

of the day is only healthy fatigue from which a good night's rest

will refresh us entirely.

There is one thing that is very evident--a feeling of hurry retards

our work, it does not hasten it, and the more quietly we can do what

is before us, the more quickly and vigorously we do it.

The first necessity is to find ourselves out--to find out for a fact

when we do hurry, and how we hurry, and how we have the sense of

hurry with us all the time. Having willingly, and gladly, found

ourselves out, the remedy is straight before us.

Nature is on the side of leisure and will come to our aid with

higher standards of quiet, the possibilities of which are always in

every one's brain, if we only look to find them.

To sit five minutes quietly taking long breaths to get a sense of

leisure every day will be of very great help--and then when we find

ourselves hurrying, let us stop and recall the best quiet we

know--that need only take a few seconds, and the gain is sure to


_Festina lente_ (hasten slowly) should be in the back of our brains

all day and every day.

"'T is haste makes waste, the sage avers,

And instances are far too plenty;

Whene'er the hasty impulse stirs,

Put on the brake, Festina Lente."