Daily Prompt: “Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?
It is funny that this is the prompt today, as I intended to write about the virtue of patience, before seeing the prompt. The expression “Good things come to those who wait” is an English phrase extolling the virtue of patience. The ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is considered a valuable quality in a person.
Patience is not something that comes naturally to me, it is something I need to work on, think about, concentrate on. I often need to make a very conscious effort to talk myself down from the slow burning rage that can overcome me when things are not moving quickly enough, to remind myself to just count to 10. There are times when I am standing in line at a checkout waiting for the person ahead of me to finish only to see she is now on her 3rd try to pay because each credit card she uses has been declined, then her coupons aren’t registering because she has not bought the correct quantity. If I have nowhere else to be I take a deep breath and say who cares, be patient, this lady has bigger troubles than you with 3 declined credit cards. There’s that patience, that wonderful virtue to have.
When the Sunday driver in front of me is going 15 in a 35 mph zone again I take a deep breath and remember it is okay because I have given myself enough time to get where I am going. Those are the good times, the patient times. Woe to that driver if it is a day when I am running late, quite a different scenario, including honking, brights flashing and most likely not so polite gesturing. No patience, no virtue.
Last week I was reminded of the basic lack of patience in general as a result of the world around us where everything is so immediately accessible now. Social media allows us to see what is going on in real time, not hours or days later. We email, face time, Skype, and can receive overnight packages. Stores are open 24 hours, everything seems to be readily and immediately accessible. This point was made clear to me by one of the students in my First Grade class.
The students were given a Scholastic Books catalog to take home to order books from. No mailing in orders, their parents can go online and place the order. The books are received in school and we hand them out. One boy was very eager to get the new catalog and couldn’t wait to take it home. He came in the next morning and told me his mother had ordered the books he wanted, could he have his books. I told him it was so exciting they were ordered, but it takes three weeks until we get them in school. Dejectedly he walked away. The next morning he came over and asked if the books had come. I explained showing him a calendar when the books would be arriving. He looked up at me and said (whine included) “But I don’t want to wait” Ah there it was. Children in general are less inclined to wait for things, this is always as it has been. Growing up today it has become even more of a challenge I believe. So this boy has had his first of many lessons in patience and learning the virtue of it. I, on the other hand am still learning.