Ted's talking points

11th February 2000 at 00:00
Is life in the fast lane getting a bit too fast? Should we slow down a bit, think more about what we do, get off the treadmill, or out of the rat race?

For.

Western society is too superficial, all about hustling, making a fast buck. We have become too materialistic - people want the latest electronic goods, most fashionable clothes, fastest car, or whatever, so we turn into work machines, desperately trying to earn the money to feed our breathless and grasping lifestyle. We should think more deeply about what we want out of life, who we are, what we do, and why. We ned more peace, not more hassle.

Against.

What is wrong with being hyperactive if you enjoy it, especially when you are young? Thinking can become self-indulgent and sterile, make us inward looking and over-analytical. Life is relatively short, so enjoy it while you can, there will be plenty of time for thinking when you are old. Where would society be without hustlers? Many of the most impressive people on the planet get on with things, rather than sitting around contemplating their navel.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at the University of Exeter


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