Yes, I know that some people still do those things. But...as a culture we've gravitated away from the mellow and moved into the hectic. Responses have to be immediate. Once I thought the fax was crunching our thought time. The words, "Just fax it to me within the hour," put a whole new spin on reaction time. Now - "E-mail it to me and send the attachment as a pdf," has shortened our response time even more.
No wonder we're a society of stress. I think slowing down would help us a lot. Yea...that may sound like I'm pining about times gone by, and perhaps I am. But, I really think it's much more than that. It wouldn't matter if our past was like our culture is now. It's more about seeing people who need to relax and often don't seem to know how, when or where. Even our exercises have become video games. Do people just go out and play "pick-up" games at the playground or ball field, or...sit around with their families and have intelligent discussions, or, perhaps have friends over to sit, have refreshments and talk - without it being planned days or weeks in advance?
Whenever I ask my students about stress, they often relate stories that play into the needless (in my opinion) way we've set our priorities. The Europeans take two hour lunches, Americans, all too often, eat at our desks and work at the same time. Are we losing our quality of life? And...how can we learn that life has more value than "work" and insane schedules? Why not slow down, look at the beauty of nature, enjoy the love of family and friends, and - when the phone rings or the e-mail or text pings, answer and/or send back a message and say..."I'm doing something very important for myself right now, I'm relaxing and enjoying being mellow."
I think it's time we realize how much of our "progress" might be moving our appreciation of life backwards. Perhaps we should take a new path to move ourselves and our society forward. It may even make us a bit more physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthier too.