I discovered this week that I top out at about 7th grade math. I was diligently trying to help Charlotte prepare for a test and I quickly ran into some problems and concepts that really slowed me down. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like it when things do not come quickly to me - I get frustrated easily. Most things came fairly easy to me growing up and so I’ve become predisposed to speed rather than depth. But I’m learning a surface awareness of things can be a sad substitute for the real thing. My need for speed has changed a little as I’ve gotten older and I’ve been forced to slow down and study a problem from a number of different angles. So now, when I help my kids with homework as a grown-up, I find myself getting way more interested in things and concepts than I did when I was in school. I’d love to take a middle school history or a science class now! I think it helps, too, that once you get out of school a lot of the learning you do as an adult is team-based and you learn things with your colleagues where everyone has the opportunity to apply their particular cognitive powers to a problem. I’m good at some things. You’re better at others. This diversity of minds leads to better, more efficient outcomes. Part of it is that we’re gently forced to slow down and listen to others and think more deeply. Come to think of it, slowing down is the right prescription for just about anything. This notion is at odds with our high-speed culture, but that just means I’m onto something important and true because I believe our high-speed, always-on, culture is speeding right past true meaning and engagement. I encourage you to test this hypothesis yourself with a long, slow walk with a partner; a slowly cooked meal with friends; or a deep, slow dive into whatever you’re reading this weekend. Slow is better. *Pole, Pole is Swahili for slowly, slowly. I’ve heard that mountain climbing guides say this to Kilimanjaro climbers too eagerly stepping up the mountain into thinner and thinner air. I whisper this to myself now when I’m trying to convert meters to miles and then to kilometers on a 7th grade worksheet. We all have our mountains.