Patience is a virtue!
Am back at my favourite coffee shop, waiting for my tea and of course, people watching. So many people to watch at this time of day, all waiting for take-away coffees and all incredibly busy. There’s a particularly self-important woman pacing up and down, talking loudly on her phone as her soy cappuccino is made. The barista holds it out to her and she grabs it and walks off without so much as a thank you. I turn my attention to the table near mine as I eavesdrop on a couple announcing their pregnancy to a friend. Harry will be born on 3 August they announce and it dawns on me they already know the gender, name and date. So much for the 9 month wait and surprise ‘it’s a boy’ phone call from the delivery suite.
You used to have to wait a week to watch the next episode of a tv series, 30 minutes to reheat a casserole in the oven, until 10am to go clothes shopping and wait until you’d saved the actual cash to go on holiday. Now TV is on demand, microwaves take a minute to reheat last night’s dinner, you can shop online 24/7 and holidays are paid for on a card.
Don’t get me wrong, if it makes life more convenient it can certainly be a good thing but does anyone have any more time than they used to? Where is all this ‘extra’ time going? And what are we missing out on by not waiting?
Patience is a virtue. I know its probably something your grandmother used to say and that you haven’t heard anyone say it in years. Perhaps because its no longer valued as much, but it is still as true today as it was then. It is also a learned skilled. The more you do it the better you get at it. Babies are born crying when they’re hungry and won’t wait half an hour to be fed. Children learn to be patient but only if we teach them.
It is worth teaching. In a society obsessed with instant gratification teaching children delayed gratification gives them the ability to save to buy something they want or work hard for something that takes time to achieve. In a society full of ‘stressed’ people teaching them how to control their emotions and actions will allow them to calmly wait their turn and not get upset at others. It is a trait that helps build strong relationships, a trait that makes people more empathetic and a trait that helps them achieve their goals.
There’s a sense of joy and achievement that comes from waiting to see the sun set, growing a tomato plant from a seed, making your own fire and waiting to be warmed up by it or watching your own bread rise in the oven (and then not waiting for it to cool down before eating it).
It’s part of the reason I still adore snail mail. The anticipation of a parcel arriving full of surprises...
From: Aunt Matilda