Patience is a lost quality in today’s world. And why not? Over the years we’ve altered our environment and lifestyle here in America to condition us to prioritize speed and convenience. A few thousand years ago we walked every where, then we hopped on horses, then made cars. We now live in a “push-button” era, where if we want something we expect to have it in an instant, and if we want to be somewhere, we want to be there in less than 5 minutes. We no longer care about the journey, or the time things take to happen, nor do we reason on time and space and coincidence any more. Our convenience is our highest priority.
The other day, I was driving somewhere, in a hurry of course, I sabotage myself by sparing myself no time before any kind of deadline, and whilst rushing about on the road, I ended up behind a big dump truck. We’ve all been in this situation before, and we all know how slow those things go, right? And we all normally react the same way: hastily irritated with a dash of “Why me?”. And that was my exact mindset, “Of all the lanes this dump truck could be in, it’s in Mine. Of all the situations in life where I need to be behind a slow moving dump truck, it’s when I’m in a frickin hurry.”
As these thoughts filled my head and my aggravation bubbled up, we came to a stop in traffic, which should have made me more angry, but I ended up in deep thought as I sat there staring at the back of this dump truck. And I realized two things: 1. People (myself included) are very impatient in the world today, like spoiled little brats. And 2. THERE IS NO REASON TO BE SO IMPATIENT. I started to think of the bigger, broader picture; I’m sat here, willing to fight this truck driver out of sheer anger, feeling like I’ve been caught in the worst coincidence in the world, but the truth is, there have been MORE times where I’ve been in a hurry, and EVERYTHING has gone my way. I just never appreciated those moments.
And that’s a natural human tendency, to narrow our view of matters to ONE SITUATION, and that’s whatever situation we find ourselves in at any given moment. And because of our conditioning, to always want things our way, we make everything about us instead of looking at the bigger picture. So much so that we forget that, as the bible says, “Time and unexpected events overtake [us] all.” There’s no rhyme or reason, the universe isn’t picking on us at our worst times. It’s 100% our mind set, our disposition, our attitude.
The next time you’re sat behind a dump truck when you’re late for work, or you catch every red light, or your online order got misplaced, or your check comes a week late, think about all the times you’ve caught every green light, every time you’re order came a day early, all the times you’re check came just when you needed it. Don’t think so negatively or self-centeredly. Be reasonable and positive. Count the good, not the bad, because if you don’t, the resulting impatience and irritation only hurts you. We can only make situations better in our minds.