Tuesday, February 9, 2010


What comes to mind when you see or hear the word 'speed'? Usain Bolt? Michael Schumacher(he's still driving, so he's not outdated)? Ever since our childhood days, we have been introduced to the concept of speed. "Really?" You ask. The story of the race between the rabbit and the tortoise. I don't have to tell you the story. The answer is yes, we were exposed to the concept of speed. And from the story came the saying, 'slow and steady wins the race'. "Really?" Well that's a pretty valid question to ask now. Really? We win the race slowly? And does that only apply in races? Is being slow applicable to life itself?

As technology progressed, so has speed. We had bicycles; now we have cars and airplanes. We had snail mail; now we have e-mail. We had internet dial-up; now we have streamyx. It is natural that as we human beings learn and grow, we invent and innovate for our own comfort and convenience. Yet all actions have consequences. Just as deforestation, supposedly to allow more space for beautiful buildings and cosy homes, have caused global warming and flash floods, so has technology deteriorated the average person's capacity to endure and wait. People just can't WAIT. If otherwise, why do you think people accelerate the moment they see a traffic light turn yellow? I'm pretty sure that in driving school, I learnt that we should slow down and stop when we see a yellow light. Not obeying the traffic light means you will be rewarded with a 10 point demerit. In the case of you still being on probation while committing such a traffic offense, your license would be suspended. So, have people become more brave, daring to disobey the rules? Or become less intelligent, not understanding simple English(or Malay for that matter)? Surely there is a reason that people are willing to risk suspending their license, heavy fines, dignity and even dear lives. And no, people have not become more brave or more dumb. They have become more impatient. You can see for yourself that impatience has such power over people that people no longer consider all the implications mentioned above. Another example would be instant noodles. Yes. A few minutes and you can start eating, without any work or preparation needed. And even during those 3 minutes, people find it hard to wait. So, faster is surely better in this age, right?

We also learn a certain formula in physics. Impulse equals force multiplied by time. Applying simple mathematics, you would find that force equals to impulse divided by time. Assuming both impulse and force are kept constant. There you go; time becomes the biggest factor, being able to determine outcomes. And I guess the logic behind how time manipulates force goes without saying, since all of you are bright people. In cases like these, we instead would desire to lengthen the time, so as to reduce the force exerted. That's what crumple zones in vehicles are for, because really, a few seconds can mean life or death. So here, we want time to be slow. Back to the last question in the previous paragraph. What's your answer?

Enough of human analysis, logic, comprehension and sense.
"My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."
~James 1:19

Fast versus Slow. Fast 1, Slow 2. Slow wins.

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