This article is dedicated to the memory of patience. Patience, a concept once considered a virtue, is now a fleeting idea, dying in the minds of modern day people. I think of patience as being a lost art. Afterall, patience is not something that we are born with. Being patient takes consistent practice and years to master. Some of us learn quicker than others, but it may be our environment that hinders us from learning this useful skill.
I think we could all use a little patience in the fast-paced world that we live in. We have become so used to receiving instant gratification that it’s no surprise that we forget what waiting actually feels like. Thanks to the internet, we have access to a myriad of information right at our fingertips. No dinner? No problem! Call Dominos and have a pizza delivered to your home. Don’t forget about Amazon, a company that delivers pretty much anything you can think of in a matter of two days with their “prime shipping” advantage. With advancements in technology, we can have our hearts desire at a touch of a button and without having to leave our homes.
We live in the golden age of convenience, and because of this we have developed expectations that revolve around being gratified quickly. If these conveniences become any less convenient, we quickly become impatient. For example, we have all experienced fast food restaurants. You order, you pay, and you receive your food all within a few minutes. So easy! Unfortunately, in the moments when we have to park and wait for our food our patience can wither away. We may think to ourselves, “How dare they not have the food ready? What’s going on in there? This is outrageous!” Our instincts might tell us to roll our eyes and curse the additional wait, when it is our conditioned expectation that is to blame. If you think about it, we have become conditioned to expect fast turnaround in the moments we have been gratified quickly. This is why we become easily discontented if our high expectations of “right now” are not met.
So how can we be patient in a world that does not support patience? The key is practicing as often as you can. One way to practice being patient is by getting yourself accustomed to waiting for gratification, and by lowering high expectations. In my experience, some of the best things are worth the wait.
Take a moment to focus on what is causing your frustration before you react negatively and try to relax yourself. Ease your body and take deep breaths to get through the moments that you feel the most impatient. Practicing this mindful technique will not only aid you with your patience but will also improve your overall mood. With consistent effort, getting through frustrating moments will get easier over time.
It is said that patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. Let’s revive patience by practicing it every day. Practice makes perfect after all.