Chapter 11. THE FAMILY

If there was ever a need for slow in the business day, it most definitely has to be where family is concerned. No matter what form your family takes: one parent, two parents, young kids, old kids, step-kids, sandwich families with elders in the house, even couples or singles with no kids at all, the ambient momentum of speed at work invariably filters through into home life.


It's tough enough getting through all of the challenges described in the previous chapters without having to deal with the emotional and logistical challenges of being part of a family. But children are shrewd observers. They need to be taught about the value of slow in action as well as concept. They need to be shown that, as a complement to their busy lives, they must include time for reflection, communication, and thought. Kids learn a heck of a lot through observation. Just as they learned to walk and talk by watching their parents or older sibling(s), so will they learn the value of work, rest, and discipline. If they see Mom returning emails at all hours of the night, or carrying her wireless PDA to bed, they, too will learn the repressive ways of the harness. This threatens to build another generation of hard-working people for whom creativity is pushed aside in order to fit a tight schedule into the day.

As we've seen throughout this book, jobs are changing. Employability, career determination, career preservation, flexibility, and "hunting ...

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