Raised with five sisters, John Moscitta, Jr. had been credited in The Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Fastest Talker, with the ability to articulate 586 words per minute. Also known as “Motormouth” Moschitta said that he needed to talk fast “just to get a word in edgewise.” He’s most remembered for the FedEx commercial he appeared in called, “Fast Paced World.”
Considering the speed gap--the difference between how fast we talk and how fast we listen--with the average person speaking about 135 to 175 words a minute, but comprehending at 400 to 500 words a minute, Moschitta is remembered not for what he said but how fast he said what.
Med Jones once said, “For the desert, a camel is better than a horse.” Seems reasonable. A camel is more fitted for traversing this kind of country. The same can be said for kids when it comes to traversing their environment. In a country obsessed with setting speed records, faster is not the answer to what kids need in successfully navigating their world. They need speed bumps where they live--methods to decelerate speed--because they are slow pokes, not fast folks.
In an article called “Fast Folk”, which appeared in Harpers Magazine, author Louis T. Grant likened our fast paced world to “keeping up with the gerbils.” ‘Illustrating the shallowness of relationships in fast folk families Grant said, ‘“There’s no time in such a family for one another, for intimacy, for communication, for listening. That’s for slowpokes. And'”, he said, "'Children are slowpokes.”’ He said, “this is why kids like grandparents so much.”
Well, it’s my seventeen month old grandson that’s become a speed bump for me recently, reminding me to slow down more in order to fill up more on things that really matter, particularly people and relationships. Some things just can’t be hurried. This is one of them. And the test below, developed by Richard Wiseman and The British Council to examine the pace of life around the world, is a good place to start a crucial conversation in discovering if you are living life in the fast lane.
(Answer using Often, Sometimes, Never)
1. Do people tell you that you talk too quickly?
2. When someone takes too long to get to the point, do you feel like hurrying them along?
3. Are you the first person to finish at mealtimes?
4. When walking along a street, do you feel frustrated because you are stuck behind others?
5. Would you become irritable if you sat for an hour without doing anything?
6. Do you walk out of restaurants or shops if you encounter even a short line?
7. When you are faced with an unfamiliar problem, what do you usually do?
a. Address the problem immediately
b. Think about what to do and then take action
c. Sit back and let things work out for themselves
If interested in a score and narrative of your results go to: http://www.richardwiseman.com/quirkology/pace.html