It was a classmate of mine who used to say ‘hurry up slowly’ when conducting experiments related to heat in the Physics lab during graduation. We had to measure temperature every 15 seconds or so and when it reached a particular point, every 5 seconds. It was not at all easy. The problem was compounded further by the antiquated stop-clock we had to use. We wanted the temperature to fall fast and yet slow enough for us to easily measure it. This line was so very apt in that context. More importantly I used to think it was an original quip from my classmate. I was wrong.
Google’s interesting result for ‘Hurry up slowly’ is copied below.
Aldus Manutius was an Italian renaissance writer and printer. He is credited with inventing italics and setting the pattern for publishing as we know it today. His personal motto, Festina Lente - "Hurry up slowly" - remains sage counsel. He captured the motto with an anchor intertwined by dolphins. The rushing dolphins and rugged anchor send a paradoxical truth. True and good progress flows from the gap between impetuousness and procrastination. We are at our best when we make haste and yet don't hurry.
This is summed by brilliantly by John Wesley as "Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry."
I see Festina Lente in action all around me. So here’s a list of Festina Lente moments I could think of.
Traffic and You
In heavy traffic you want to move fast but not so fast that you test the crumple-zone of your car
Boom-boom Economy and The Poor
India wants the economy to continue running on steroids no matter what and yet desperately hoping it slows down enough for the poor to catch up
Client and Agency
Client wants to push a strategy quickly (even though it is BS) and yet be slow enough for the agency to realise that they have to work on it, on time
Agency and Client
Agency wants to sell an idea quickly (even though it is BS) and yet be slow enough for the client to approve a shoot in French Riviera
Social Media and Companies
Companies rush into the Social Media bandwagon while hoping it slows enough for them to understand what the heck they have gotten into in the first place
Management and Employee
Management wants to quickly pass a resolution increasing shareholder return while slowing it enough for employees to realise that they have to work more for a lot less
Celebrities and Scandals
Celebrities are in a hurry to cover up a scandal and yet take time to milk the publicity from it
Politician and Businessman
The politician pushes the file quickly through red tape and yet slows it just that much forcing the businessman to cough up the kickbacks
SexI leave that to your imagination!
Now, why don’t you share your list of Festina Lente moments?