In your non-rabbinic opinion, what's "better" -- to do one thing sincerely or to do lots of things mindlessly and without soul, kavanah (or meaning)?
Some would say mitzvah gorreret mitzvah ([performing] one commandment leads to performing another). These same folks might follow the na'aseh v'nishmah (do and follow) school of thought, when it comes to ritual observance.
And then there's the Janis Joplin school of thought that says if you've got one day, make that day love, 'cause that's all you've got (and some define love as ritual, and some don't, and to each his own).
I don't know. I'd rather have kavanah in the moment than perform mitzvot by rote. I don't like to plow through benching. I like to take my time and sing the whole thing out loud. Why? 'Cause it's fun to sing. 'Cause it's probably shabbos, so I'm not in a rush.
'Cause singing brings people together in ways doing other stuff together doesn't. I'm sure if I really needed to nap, I might want to do it faster/more quietly. That day hasn't come yet, but I haven't benched out loud with others since the sedarim (since Passover).
Now is one of those moments when I need sleep, but I want to say I love benching. I think gratitude is at the heart of Judaism, and eating is a very conscious process for me in relation to emotions like compassion and remembering to have it and stuff (like by not mixing meat and dairy foods together, for example).
Hey: If you don't know what any of the italicized words mean, please let me know, and I'll start sticking a glossary at the end of each entry. I have no idea who exactly is reading this thing. Thanks. Good night.