He who distinguishes the true savour of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.

– Henry David Thoreau


Savour and save

In our fast-paced lives it is difficult to slow down and smell the roses. Most people only unwind when they are on holiday and even then they often pack their days with activities so that they don’t waste the opportunity. But there is another way.

By savouring life – relationships, work, recreation, food, everything – you get more enjoyment and fulfilment from them.

To savour is to appreciate fully, to enjoy, to relish. The key is to slow down and become more aware – reflecting on the sensations and the feelings – of what you are doing and being.

The Slow Movement embraces and promotes the idea of savouring. This movement has gathered steam since it began as the Slow Food movement in Rome in 1989 – as a reaction to McDonalds being set up near the famous Spanish Steps.

Professor Guttorm Fløistad summarised the philosophy of the Slow Movement by stating: “The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.”

Modern civilisation has created a world where people have so much choice and so many things to do that we rarely get, or take, the time to savour the content of our lives. As Aesop said “a crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety”.

It is much more enjoyable and fulfilling to savour and fully appreciate a few things than it is to ‘gloss over’ many things.