Americans just need to slow down

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James Petros
Contributing Writer

America is currently at a cultural loss. Workaholism has enveloped the nation in a fast-paced frenzy that has led many to identify themselves with the job or occupation they currently have.  Americans over the years have sped up, not slowed down, in regards to fulfilling the “American Dream.” This workaholic culture has been poisonous to the minds of many Americans.  To alleviate our frantic workaholism, we would do well to reintroduce a few old customs into the American culture.

First, let’s restore the Day of Rest.  Why not? This idea is not meant to put an influence on getting Americans back into the pews, but on getting people to spend time with their families. In the 1950s and 60s, most businesses were closed on Sundays. People spent their days at home, not going shopping for the latest Apple gadget or Angry Birds plush. If Chick-Fil-A can close on Sundays and still keep its doors open the rest of the week, then there is no reason why other businesses cannot do it too.

It is beautiful in Italy and the rest of Europe when most grocery stores and other shops are only open for a small amount of time. It forces Europeans to focus on spending time with the family and taking a break from work. Sunday is meant for relaxing, meant for spending time with loved ones. The American culture of today treats it like any other day of the week. People keep themselves busy with work and other activities for the sake of getting things done.

This attitude is damaging to all since all are a part of this increasingly stressed and overworked culture.  A survey conducted by Harris Interactive reports that 76 percent of Americans feel stressed out.

A Sunday off with the family may help lower that number.

Second, slow down.  Americans are always at a fast pace. Would it kill everyone if we would just slow down? It is evident this is the case when one goes into a Buffalo Wild Wings or Applebee’s and is seated, served and shown to the door in less than an hour. In the European cities of Prague, Paris or even Krakow, restaurants typically serve a table for between two to three hours. If Americans had the opportunity to have a nice sit-down meal with the family, a spouse or a loved one, the workaholic mentality of go, go, go might be shown to be annoying and counterproductive. Time is a valuable thing and a gift from God. Americans should be able to spend time with each other in a way that is not rushed. When someone works on something at a slow and steady pace, the end result is much better than when one hurries it.

Third, stop looking at the screen.  Americans on average spend about eight and a half hours a day looking at a screen, according to a study by the Council on Research Excellence. Reading a book or going for a jog are good alternatives to the screen-addiction that the American culture is facing. The time spent in front of the screen is unhealthy and leads some Americans to literally define their lives by what type of screen they look at, whether it is a laptop, TV, iPhone or iPad. Healthy alternatives like reading and exercising would help reduce the stress, help lead to a healthier lifestyle, and help tone down the workaholic frenzy plaguing the nation.

On the whole, these few, simple ideas could help return the American culture to the great spectacle it once was. All these ideas are meant to help quell the rising tide of the workaholics in this country – and to let Americans know that it is okay to slow down and take a break.

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