We’ve all heard the saying “Patience is a virtue.” Well, whenever I hear someone say that, my immediate thought is “Too bad I’m not virtuous.” Ba-dum-dum. I know, it’s a VERY old joke, yet it still pops into my head without missing a beat.
The fact of the matter is that Patience does not come easily to most of us. I think humans are naturally impatient—or at least we are now. Was humankind always this way? Without a time machine I cannot say definitively, but I would guess not. I think technology has contributed to our lack of Patience. In a society where there is very little you can’t get instant gratification on, what need do we have for Patience? It’s become an unnecessary appendage…like a tail (if you subscribe to the theory of evolution at least).
How many of us walk around with our blackberry or iPhone or other device almost glued to our wrists? There are those of us who get anxious and fretful when they send a message and it is not answered immediately. How on Earth did humans survive without e-mail and instant messaging? Or my word, without a phone??? It’s mind boggling just to imagine it. We need information and answers as quickly as we can get them, and tend to get overworked when they aren’t coming fast enough. Fast enough for what? What will happen if the world doesn’t move at a lightening pace?
We object to the idea that we have to wait—for anything. Wait for test results, wait for a bus, wait for a train, wait in line to buy a newspaper. What on earth for? That is madness! With computers, those test results should have been here five minutes ago; the bus and train should have been waiting for me when I arrived at the station; my book or newspapers should be instantly delivered and preferably bring a Quad, Venti, No-Foam, Extra Hot, Double-Cup Soy Vanilla Latte with them! Actually, nix the soy and make it whole milk…I mean come on…if you’re going with a 20 ounce dose of caffeine and sugar, why not at least get the calcium??
Here’s the thing…I discovered something this week. I was home for three days with my boys straight. In that time, we floated. We took naps, we did laundry (4 loads in 3 days…impressive…NOT), we even took time to bake cookies. We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t have a set schedule. We just existed. I had loads of things I’d been waiting to get answers on and have resolved, but in that three day period, I stopped being stressed about them. I stopped tapping my foot and saying “I need the answer NOW!” The world didn’t stop. The answers came in their own good time. It was like another old adage—a watched pot never boils. The water in the pot is going to boil when it boils. Sitting, watching, waiting, tapping your foot is going to have no impact on the water. All it impacts is your stress. But if you find your Patience…walk away…occupy your mind elsewhere, the water seems to boil in an instant. Look at that—instant gratification without having an aneurysm.
What’s my point? A simple one actually. Patience = Calm = Happiness = Why We Exist. Throw in a box of chocolates and life is gooood.