Look closely at the opening shot of each episode of the American public television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and you will see the traffic light flashing yellow. A flashing yellow light alerts us to be cautious. It was a subtle signal to even the youngest viewers to slow down, that it was okay to pause and focus their attention.
Mr. Rogers would come into the house singing the now famous sing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." He would take off his suit jacket, replace it with a cardigan, take off his dress shoes, and put on sneakers. That was one of the most mesmerizing and memorable entrances ever into a television show. Just mentioning these items, those familiar with the show can recall it in the mind's eye and heart it with the inner ear. He would intentionally talk slowly and clearly and pause deliberately. Great things would occur in each episode and viewers could absorb them thanks to the shows intentional slow cadence.
Where do you find the television shows today that tell you to slow down? Who is speaking up to say, "take it easy, pace yourself"? We are accustomed to a fast-paced life. We have come to expect instant results. We demand a myriad of choices when it comes to food, clothes, and other consumable goods. Taking time to slow down is for some simply a waste of time. We want to go faster, quicker. We have no time for the slow lane. Our flitting attention spans resemble that of a gnat. We have a hard time focusing. We run. We scoot. We hurry. Slow down? Forget it.
What happens when we do finally allow ourselves to take the time and slow down some?…