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  • He ran up the beach, but that was natural for he never walked. Even in Commencement processions he was always gaining on the man ahead of him.

  • Speed haunts our metaphors: the front-runner, the fast lane, the finish line, the mayoral race. ... Long ago, stumbling and gasping, we gave up and watched dinner hightailing it effortlessly over the hill, or glanced over our shoulder at the bear that was effortlessly gaining on us, and surely it was reasonable to want to be faster. If we were going to get anywhere at all or catch anything to eat, it was clear we couldn't do it on our personal feet like everything else.

  • Just because it's a rat race doesn't mean it's okay to be a rat.

  • The result of every one's being in such a hurry to get everywhere was that nobody could get anywhere.

  • Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.

  • The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.

  • For life is a poem to leisurely read, / And the joy of a journey lies not in its speed.

  • We perfectly agreed in our ideas of traveling; we hurried from place to place as fast as horses and wheels, and curses and guineas, could carry us.

  • I'd get her off before you could say Jack Robinson.

  • She always refused to be hurried. Hurry was so aging.

  • 'Not speed, but brains will count, Lizzie,' she said to me. 'What does it matter how fast they can go if they don't know where they're going?'

  • She moved with a slowness that was a sign of richness; cream does not pour quickly.

  • She was a little woman, perpetually bent forward, possibly because she was always on the run, having to be somewhere before she could get there.

  • We are naturally reverent beings, but much of our natural reverence has been torn away from us because we have been born into a world that hurries. There is no time to be reverent with the earth or with each other. We are all hurrying into progress. And for all our hurrying we lose sight of our true nature a little more each day.

  • ... I'd do it as soon as say Jack Robinson.

  • To go at the same speed as the universe is to be at a slow walk, at a white heat. There is no rush. Each thing happens in its own time.

  • The week's ocean voyage went by like a year. The silly waves dragged on the steamer like a tired child on the skirts of its mother. Haste raged in your veins like a fever. You wanted to throw all the fat, heavy passengers overboard. You wanted to swim ahead with a towing rope in your teeth. You wanted to kill the Captain when he stuttered. You wanted to flay the cook for serving an extra course for dinner.

  • ... before you could say Jack Robinson.

  • ... he is invariably in a hurry — being in a hurry is one of the tributes he pays to life ...

  • Quite a small spoke is enough to stop a wheel — even a mighty big wheel — if it's going too fast.

  • Without even knowing it, we are assaulted by a high note of urgency all the time. We end up pacing ourselves to the city rhythm whether or not it's our own. In time we even grow hard of hearing to the rest of the world. Like a violinist stuck next to the timpani, we may lose the ability to hear our own instrument.

  • ... simplifying my life didn't automatically mean that I'd slowed down, too. The speed of life on the fast track permeates every area of our lives. Hurrying becomes a habit.

  • Life here in America is so fervid, so fast ... that the tendencies to nervous disease are constantly aggravated.

  • With the only certainty in our daily existence being change, and a rate of change growing always faster in a kind of technological leapfrog game, speed helps people to think they are keeping up.

  • Speed as a drug disorganizes the personality; speed as the goal of information dissemination commits a subtler crime. People are mainlining our words. We rarely read of the rational alternatives, only of the commands that all must change or else. This is a prescription for public panic.

  • Grandpa did everything at his own pace, a speed that my sister and I referred to as 'when snails attack.' ... My grandparents' house was only about ten miles from ours, but the ride there would necessitate sandwiches packed for the trip, and several books to keep us occupied.

  • Civilization is propelling us too quickly into an era where dreams are less important than action, where speed is taking the place of tranquillity.

  • She moved like a hedgehog, Mr. Bagthorpe was fond of saying, and was about as much use about the house.

  • Although the stated goal of managed time is to increase our efficiency and effectiveness, in fact, the measure of success most often is speed. Doing things better is synonymous with doing things faster so that we can do even more things efficiently and effectively. In buying into this premise, we enter a spiral of acceleration that we can never hope to master.

  • We live in a culture that paces itself to the speed of machines. We are trying like good little robots to match our speed with theirs. Humans cannot move at the same rate as machines. When we attempt to, we lose contact with our own humanness.

  • ... what I love is slowness. Slow people, slow reading, slow traveling, slow eggs, and slow love. Everything good comes slow.

  • Stress and fatigue are modern calamities, the result of the run-run-run environment of our hurrying civilization.

  • ... speed is the curse of the age.

  • [On turning down an invitation to appear for four minutes on the Ed Sullivan Show:] Honey, it takes Moms four minutes just to get on the stage.

    • Moms Mabley,
    • in Mary Unterbrink, Funny Women: American Comediennes, 1860-1985 ()
  • Life is walking fast / It wasn't how I wanted it, but I had to take what I could.

  • Not all speed is movement.

    • Toni Cade Bambara,
    • "On the Issue of Roles," in Toni Cade Bambara, ed., The Black Woman: An Anthology ()
  • This is the age / of the half-read page / And the quick hash / And the mad dash / The bright night / With the nerves tight / The plane hop / With the brief stop / The lamp tan / In a short span / The Big Shot / In a good spot / And the brain strain / And the heart pain / And the catnaps / Till the spring snaps / And the fun's done.