THE JUSTICE PROJECT | Blog | When You Are In A Hurry Go Slowly

When You Are In A Hurry Go Slowly

In the history of the world, this has got to be breaking news. Scientists now report that obesity is more of a global health issue than hunger. Unfortunately, those who are going to bed hungry night after night on this planet won’t find anything in this announcement to calm their hunger…or the hunger of their children.

However, for the rest of us in the land of bulging belts, this does have ramification. But rest easy this is not another new year’s blog on making a resolution to lose weight.

Of course, there can be chemical reasons for obesity, but for most of us, overeating is an issue of restraint or the lack therein. And for all of us, in many more ways than what we shovel onto our plate, restraint is a major character issue in life.

When I was younger I remember thinking that success in life was whatever I could grab. As I have gotten older, I witness the sense of success that comes with acknowledging what I don’t need.

Restraint knows that sometimes in life the fastest way to get somewhere is by taking your foot off the gas and putting it on the brake.

In many instances in life, the most successful fisherman is the man who catches himself in time.

The Japanese have an proverb that reminds: “When you are in a hurry go slowly.”

We cannot envision doing justice to ourselves if we don’t know when we have enough. The real blessing of the buffet table is to know when we are sated. If we don’t know when we’ve have enough in life we are forever enslaved to appetite. And often enslaving others to feed our appetite.

While success can bring us many things, it seldom brings restraint. And the resulting obesity of the soul is born from confusing  hunger with appetite.

A just world is not a world where the dictum is to get your head down in the trough. And a just world is morally, ethically, and certainly a lot more than boasting, “I got mine Jack.”

I have no doubt that there are many who would argue with this. But then, I close as I opened: Scientists now report that obesity is more of a global health issue than hunger.

Restraint is the balance partner of release. Everything in the biosphere is bounded by restraint and release. Restraining one’s self is not living in a world that is less but a world that is better. And this is more than just a difference; it is a just difference.

When you think about what you might give yourself this year, perhaps think on giving yourself the power of self-restraint. Happy New Year.


Noah benShea
Executive Director, THE JUSTICE PROJECT