“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle
On my way home from work the other day I saw a man almost kill himself and others to avoid sitting through a traffic light. I have written before about how fast life moves, and the Christmas season puts that pace to another level. I am 57 years old and I cannot remember peoples patience in the earlier years of my life being so frail. Maybe, it was me that was impatient so I didn’t pay attention to the actions of others. Regardless, people today are holding on by the thinnest thread and are prone to losing their sanity at any moment, over the most innocuous things. I think the microwave might have to take some of the blame. There are a host of other modern conveniences that are under suspicion, but I believe the microwave might be the first to the dance. Let’s take a look at some of the devices that could be our alibis for an impatient living and some things we can do to reduce our impatience.
Let’s start with our main culprit, the microwave. It was first sold in 1946, and the technology for this device was derived from a RADAR system invented for the war. This device would allow us to cook food in a fraction of the time. Time saved would equal extra time for leisure, thus it was a win-win scenario. Unbeknownst to the people of that day, this would become the lifesaver for many college students in the future. The die was cast and society would not go back. Our thirst for devices that would save time would eventually become insatiable. There is an old saying that says “With everything that is given, something is lost”, our patience was being lost and we didn’t even realize it.
As a child growing up in the 1970’s I would watch my parents do their banking, are you ready for this, inside an actual bank? I remember one year my mother telling me they were installing something called an ATM machine at our bank. This machine would allow a person to withdraw money without going inside the bank and without talking to another human being. I felt like we had been transported (no pun intended) into an episode of Star Trek. Banking could be done faster with the added convenience of having the bank open 24 hours per day just for you. The ATM helped revolutionize the future of banking and would eliminate the requirement for a person to have bank transactions during operational hours. Society expects hours that will cater to their needs, in the meantime, patience was dwindling with every innovation.
The grandaddy of patience killers was launched in 1969 from meager beginnings. The letter “L” and “O” was sent 350 miles successfully and the network crashed afterward. This was the birth of the internet which ushered in the Information Age, life would never be the same. Fast forward almost 50 years and now automation through the local and worldwide networks allow us to do transactions of buying and selling (everything imaginable), right down to the automation of our homes. The instantaneous, results-driven society has allowed for many conveniences but everything comes with a price, and the toll is taken on our patience. Has anyone that is reading this been on a slow internet account lately? It is as frustrating as being behind a lost driver during rush hour traffic. So, how do we slow our world back down to a manageable pace and still remain relatively tranquil? We will take a look at a couple of ideas that might allow us to stay patient in a world that is far too busy.
Number one, if you are one of those individuals that sleep until the last possible moment, run out the door with a precision drive time to work, and if you encounter any obstacles on the way, you could become an impatience time bomb waiting to explode. My first suggestion for regaining patience is to allow extra time for delays that are unavoidable in life. An extra ten minutes of time can be the difference between totally stressed out and a day you can enjoy. In the big scheme of things, there are 168 hours in a week, what difference will ten minutes make? Give it a try, leave 10 minutes earlier in the morning for work, or for the movies, or a dinner date. You will reap the rewards of being more relaxed and might regain some of your patience.
Number two has to do with commitments. There is an entire series off of blog posts available on the subject of saying yes too often. One of our problems with impatience can stem from overcommitting. We use devices to save time, then we, in turn, fill our schedule with more to do. The modern conveniences we have talked about are not inherently bad, they just produce adverse results when misused. I will leave it to experts that deal with time management to assist in determining the items to do and those that need to be omitted. Just be aware that every commitment made restricts your schedule and tightens the noose on our free time, and this can lead to impatience.
In conclusion, of course, the microwave is not the cause of our impatience. The rub is to use technology and innovation to improve the quality of our lives, not to fill it with more obligations. If you suspect you are impatient, just ask one of your close friends, they will know, trust me. Slow down and let life come to you. We all live life one minute at a time. Trying to accomplish too much in a short period of time is a recipe for frustration and a lack of patience. I will leave you with a quote that demonstrates patience is a state of mind. “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”
― David G. Allen