The famous motto of the Olympic Games describes with astonishing accuracy the actual situation of Western societies. These are characterized by a widespread tendency towards acceleration and admiration for dynamism. However, lasting consequences for individual health and general welfare have become more and more apparent. The everyday stress of medical doctors may be considered representative for many other professions. From antiquity to the present acceleration and deceleration have alternated in delicate ways. Beginning with the pre-socratic philosophers, we find regular warnings against exaggeration and self-exploitation. Yet, in our days the trend could actually change. More and more people refuse to live a life which is dominated by a pathogenic hectic atmosphere. The result could be a problematic “refusal” of duties and responsibility. A solution seems difficult. The rediscovery of the classical “centre”, i.e. a harmonious balance between strain and relaxation, might help.