Starting the Conversation

There has been a great deal of press about my new book SPEED since it launched in January.
I’ve been interviewed on radio programs and for print articles, with an overwhelmingly positive
response. Everybody is intrigued and there is a gamut of reaction. Some people identify
instantly and are motivated to take action right away. Others are interested and sense that I’m
“on to something” but are unsure about how to start. And others know that what I’m saying
about SPEED is true, but aren’t ready to or don’t think it’s possible to change. “This is life now,
and you’ve got to keep going.”

Here are a few examples of conversations I’ve had…

I was perched on the top of the jungle gym on a chilly Sunday afternoon in January. My
granddaughters were playing house with me as Katrina, a bouncy 5-year-old with a blond pony
tail, shimmied up the rope ladder to join us. “Will you come to my house and play with me?” she
asked. I told her that might be hard, but she could join us now. “What’s your name and how old
are you?” I asked as she helped us make imaginary tea. She proudly said “Five!” I noted that
she must be in kindergarten, and she nodded, and her face clouded up with a frown. “I like
school, but I don’t like so much homework. My teacher is always yelling at us to go faster and
faster and I can’t do it. School isn’t fun anymore.” Katrina’s parents were sitting on the sand box
looking down at their cell phones. They did not look up once during our play.

Another conversation I had was in mid-February. I answered my office phone to find Margaret
on the line. “I read the article in Spirit (the Southwest Airlines monthly magazine) while on a
flight, knew it was me, and instantly ordered the book SPEED. I want to do my Senior art
project on the reality of society being out of control that you have described. It’s everywhere. I’ll
be graduating from college in June and I have no idea what I’ll be doing. I just know that I live
out of control and so does my boyfriend. We need to slow down now, but we don’t see any way
that’s possible. My project will be exhibited in the campus art museum for two weeks in April. I’m
thinking I can illustrate the frenzy of SPEED and show something about slowing down.” We
talked for 30 minutes about her ideas and I wished her well. Then I marveled at how an idea can take hold in the culture, one person at a time.

Finally, there was the nursing assistant at a recent doctor’s appointment, happily telling me
she’d recently gotten married. “We had THE most wonderful wedding and reception – just
couldn’t have been more perfect – but the four hours went by so fast. Too fast. We gave our
families and guests the best entertainment – my husband sang, I danced and we had many
performances. It was great, but after it was over, we realized we hadn’t talked with anybody. We
missed it all in the excitement of putting on a show. It was over in a flash and we don’t have
memories of special conversations or feeling the happiness with all our friends and families. We
were anxious about the show.” She had no idea that I’d written a book about this very issue.
I invite you to share your own experience. People want to be part of a new conversation, so let’s
start sharing.

2 thoughts on “Starting the Conversation

  1. Anne Hillman

    What a great website, Stephanie! It’s a great resource and provides an opportunity for inquiry into all the arenas you’ve explored so deeply. People really need this kind of thing. I’m also enjoying your blog and look forward to more as it develops . . .

  2. Andrea Throndson

    I love love love your latest book Speed! Wow–what a powerful piece of work–such a great resource. I can hardly wait to read your other books. Your book SPEED so eloquently made sense out of so much inner turmoil I see in my clients (and in myself). It is like a ladder from heaven giving people a way out to a better life. I know that sounds corny but it is exactly what the book does.

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