Too often we mistake rhetorical speed for value: be it intelligence or confidence. Someone who always has a quick reply, especially if it’s witty, is smart. He who speaks first, even if we disagree, must (we assume) be right.

Yet those who take their time often notice not only the details but the surroundings. That is, they can step back and see more of the whole, for they are not enslaved by the constant need to react.

On the other hand, this also helps explain why I have always been drawn to those who are fast. I am amazed at their skill, though I would never choose to be like them. In their haste they miss too much for my liking.

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