Don’t let their little legs deceive you into thinking that is why children walking are taking their time. No, there is an innate wisdom and curiosity enshrouded by the speed at which children engage with their reality, especially when it is a walk outdoors from which I am speaking from my own experience.
On a pleasant day in which an ecosystem offers its thousands of curiosities, a small child is likely to try and pursue some level of engagement with all of them. The highest speed at which they move through—approximately 2 kilometers per hour—is close to the upper limit that anyone can go without missing large amounts of intrigue that the microclimate has to offer; thus the common commuter reference to their commute as being “a blur”, both literally because of the high speeds, and figuratively because of the lack of durable connections and memories built. At higher speeds not only would large sections of the immanent reality be missed, there would be an increasing degree of violence done upon the earth being tread upon, as well as the body moving through (think of long term impact
studies on the physical health of athletes). A body going much faster at speeds of flight or of predatory hunting might result in the death of one or multiple animals, with a meal gained for the hunter and/or for the ecosystem’s scavengers. This extreme activity is historically balanced out by a healthy ecosystem, but in today’s islandized forests and wilderlands all too often there is a lack of appropriate decomposers and so dead animals are found without any reabsorbing element.
Whose Attention Span Is Shortest?
Despite their notorious reputations for having a very short attention span, kids’ attentions can be held for a remarkably long time whereas adults just want to plough through and complete the walk, or whatever task that they don’t really want to fully consider. Children interact in a much less civilization-ally biased way than a hiker may, and are much more resourceful in finding pleasure and activity with a much smaller use of energy. Kids that haven’t been tainted by mal-stimulus (as opposed to the erroneously dubbed “over-stimulus”) are the best educators of the pace that daily life should take place at, and the way we should regard our immediate surroundings rather than chop them down, dig them up, and put mass produced cars, pavement, and shrubbery in their place.