Kids looking for eggs in bushes

The Swarm of Children

At 9:00 a.m., the Mayor for our little town blew the foghorn and a mass of children ran onto baseball fields to collect thousands of Easter eggs dumped in the grass. I thought it would take quite a while to pick them up, but those kids swarmed the field and stripped it clean in less than ten seconds.

It was an impressive feat of cleaning. The event was over and done in less then a few minutes and everyone went home. While it was exhilarating in the moment, my kids have already forgotten about it (and it’s only 11:30 a.m.).

Here’s an alternate scenario for you. What if, instead of blowing the foghorn and scrambling like crazed kittens, they spent the afternoon in the park looking for expertly hid eggs? What if it took them hours of crawling, climbing, peeking, and searching to find a few valuable treasures? Would they have enjoyed the experience more?

I write about the art of reading well, and I couldn’t help make the comparison. When we blaze through a book, it’s interesting in the moment – even fascinating. But then it’s gone, never to be used or thought of again. If we read slowly, critically, and with care — if we take notes, speak with other readers, and question what we read — does the reading become more valuable?

For me, the answer is yes. Why are we so fascinated with reading quickly? What is it getting us?

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.


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