Bob heeds mom’s advice: Don’t wish life away

Bob heeds mom's advice: Don't wish life away By Bob Karolevitz What's the big hurry?

Almost everything these days is designed to rush us faster and faster to a destination we're not even sure of.

Those of us who have been fighting a rear-guard action against life on the run might do well to take a long look at some folks who seem to have found at least a partial slow-down.

I told you earlier about the trip Phyllis and I took to the Amish settlements at Kolona and Hazelton, IA. Those people have turned the calender back to a less hurried and harried time, and I envy them.

No, I'm not going to grow chin whiskers and trade in my Ford Explorer for a horse-drawn buggy. Nor am I ready to give up my television and electric lights, but I've got to admit that there is something appealing about their way of life.

Take the computer, for instance. (Please do!) I don't think there's a single one in Amish-land; and if there was, it would probably run on kerosene. Instantaneous e-mail means nothing to the Amish. They've got plenty of time to correspond with a 33� stamp, with or without zip code. Better yet, they visit each other.

Incidentally, I've heard lots of computer-users complain that their software is too slow. I suppose those few seconds of waiting for stuff to come up on their modem do add up, but I wonder if it's worth fussing about.

We want our medicines to work immediately. We buy nine items so we can go through the Express Line. Minute rice cooks faster than the regular kind, and there are fast-food outlets everywhere just waiting to hurry us back to our jobs or wherever we plan to rush to.

In the aisles of the supermarket, our lives are in jeopardy as carts go whizzing by. But even worse are those busy folks who don't have time to return emptied carts, then leave them scattered willy-nilly in the parking lots for somebody else to run into in their haste (which makes waste).

Nowadays we also hear a lot about road rage. We can't wait for the light to change, it seems. The slow-poke driver ahead of us gets our dander up. And bumper-to-bumper traffic brings out the beast in otherwise docile human beings.

I repeat: What's the big hurry?

Maybe it's my age or, as Phyllis says, I'm becoming an old curmudgeon, but I don't want a PIN number. I've never used an ATM machine. And don't give me the news in sound bytes; I want to read the whole story.

I'd rather go by the train than plane. They tell me you get faster service at the drive-up window, but I prefer to park the car, go inside and be served by a waitress as I sit at a table.

At our place we still have dial telephones, which takes a little longer to make calls. Needless to say, we have a little trouble when an operator tells us to Push One, Push Two, Push Three � but that's another story!

My mother used to say: "Don't wish your life away." She was telling me to slow down when I was in a big hurry to accomplish this, that or some other thing. It took me more than 50 years to heed her advice.

Now psychiatrists are urging us to take time to smell the flowers. Shucks, we seldom take time to look at them.

I realize that two-job spouses and soccer moms have got to do things on the double, but even they could ease up a mite if they considered the consequences. So once more I ask: What's the big hurry?

When you think about it, the guy who said "Stop the earth, I want to get off!" might have the right idea after all.

© 2000 Robert F. Karolevitz

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