The Art of Survival: Slowing Down


Survival during war times is usually seen as “survival of the fittest” or “only the strong survive”. Our recent Ebola war has proven that very fit and very strong people may not survive. And so, in Liberia, Survival has come to mean more than physical strength. In the year of the Ebola crisis, Survival meant learning new health and hygiene practices. Liberians who survived also learned to listen, to wait, and to be patient with others.

In order to survive, we learned to Slow Down.

Someone may say, “How can Liberians afford to slow down anymore? We just took 5 years to pass a decent work bill”. Slowing down, in this sense, does not mean stalling, blocking, or constipation.

But then again, the Ministry of Education made a rescheduling proposal and hundreds of people burst into a rushing, panic reaction that could threaten our peaceful Survival.

Slowing down could mean waiting, resting, or pausing. Slowing down should mean listening, patience, and breathing. Let’s learn the Art of Survival.

Art, Beauty and Balance are bound together so closely, they define each other. Here is a famous list of beautiful and balanced slowing down techniques to help us learn the art and survive.
• Do one thing at a time
• Do it slowly and deliberately
• Do it completely
• Do less
• Put space between things
• Develop rituals
• Designate time for certain things
• Smile and serve others
• Make cleaning and cooking become meditation
• Think about what is necessary
• Live simply

Then listen, be patient, and breathe before reacting.


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