We’ve all got 24 hours to get everything done today.
525,600 minutes a year to sort it out. How is it then, that some people are in a rush and some are not?
In London, everyone is in a rush. It’s because we think that our time is more valuable than other’s. (side note: it isn’t!). I once met a Londoner who had lived in India for 5 years.
“I couldn’t do that,” I said, “I’d be so hot! I can’t deal with the heat. How do you deal with the heat?”.
“They walk slower there.” He said, calmly.
Imagine that. Not being in a rush. What a novel idea.
This conversation always comes to my mind when I observe tourists. People on holiday appear to have more time; they walk slower. Londoners always have somewhere to be whereas tourists aren’t sure where they are going. It sounds like knowing where you’re going would be the better option, but if you spend too much time looking forward you might find that you miss something along the way.
One summer afternoon, as the sun began to set, the riverside statues awoke from their poses and wiped off their make up, I was busking to an empty Southbank. Three happy tourists approached with backpacks and big smiles, they listened for a song or two with great appreciation. Just as I thought they were going to turn and leave, they began riffling in their bags; out came three big maps of London. They each placed a map on the ground and sat cross-legged in front of me.
I continued to play and more friendly faces found seats on the floor to listen.
I soon had a gaggle of tourists sitting on jackets and maps and bags, listening to my street gig and enjoying the spontaneity of their shared experience. They didn’t have anywhere to be and this place was as good as any, dare I say, better.
How often would you have time to part take in a shared encounter like that? If you were passing by would you say ‘Oh how lovely, its a shame I’m running late…”?
Recently I’ve tried to do less every day. What I mean by that is plan less so I can do more. Rather than make an unachievable list of goals for the day and run around like a headless chicken trying to complete them, I make a short list of tasks that need doing, and leave time for error, spontaneity and living in between. So, if I should so fancy it, I can sit down on the floor and listen to a busker play as the sun sets without a care. Just like a tourist, and I don’t even need to leave my hometown.