Because Work is a Part of Life

In 2009 Smith College, a quaint liberal arts women’s college nestled on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts, recognized the need for students to understand the intersection between work and life by founding the Center for Work and Life. As an alumna of the college, I was thrilled to learn that such a renowned institution would provide guidance on such  practical subjects as how to write emails to your professor, how to cook healthy (and affordable meals) and how to change a tire (and look good doing it).

It seems the College has experienced a rebirth of sorts. It has recognized that, while building our brains, we also need to comprehend the more pragmatic sides to life. In the eyes of the Center’s director, Jessica Bacal, there is a thing called work-life balance.

Jessica invited me to chat with students about the Power of Slow in late March. I was astounded at their hunger to learn that it’s really alright not to do everything at once. I was equally amazed that they thought they had to.

When I saw their relieved faces, I realized the Slow message is necessary for everyone. Whether in China, Korea, Australia or India, people of all ages are responding to its message to slow down. We are indeed on a slippery slope. All of us. And the good news is we’re in this together, which means it will take all of us to move beyond our hectic pace to a collective understanding of what the heck we’re all doing here anyway.

We weren’t born to race. We were born to help each other. So let’s start together by sending the message that it is alright to go at your custom speed.

And that message, dear reader, starts with you. Invite someone to walk a little slower today. Then tell me about it. We can all learn from each other as we tread this road called life.


  1. Suzanne

    April 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I remember that urge in college to do everything all at once. I believe having your eyes opened to the world — as college is wont to do — makes us eager for new experiences, immediate relevancy and adventures. So glad you got to deliver the message that doing so slowly is often the wisest choice. Otherwise, how could we enjoy it?

    1. powerofslow


      April 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Indeed ~so true! Perhaps it is because everything is so new and we wanted to soak everything up as much as possible. The urge to do everything at once has not changed ~ or perhaps it is the sense that we need to? That’s why Slow is so important. To remind ourselves that one at a time is just fine too. Thanks for your insights!

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