I like to think of myself as a patient person. I have no problem waiting in lines or for service at a restaurant, I will do my best to teach others no matter how long it takes, and I don’t mind giving up my time to others.
This quarantine has shown me that I am not as patient as I once naively thought I was.
We have grown accustomed to a “now” society. Amazon Prime essentially has your order on your doorstep ready for you by the time you press “Complete Purchase”. Our subway systems efficiently running every couple of minutes or so, and we have the world of knowledge right in our hands all day. We have grown able to do things with ease. With convenience.
I could spend a chunk of money, board a plane, and be in a new country the same day. I could email a company for information and get an instant-message in return or a response within 24 hours. I could do whatever I wanted in that moment or at least plan for it for near- future.
This is simply not our reality anymore.
I ordered some things online 10 days ago and they have yet to be shipped. I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot when you type it out like that, but in the world of 80 ish days ago, I would have had my things by now, happily in hand.
Every day I check my emails, waiting for that package tracker to come so I can obsess over it and excitedly await the arrival of my parcel. Still, no email. No idea of when I will get one. It actually makes me antsy to think about.
Now, this is not me slamming my foot to the ground in a temper-tantrum of “I WANT IT NOW!”, this is me adjusting to a very reasonable reality. It is absurd for me to expect something to come from across the country within a day or two, not even mentioning that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, but yet, I did expect that, even unconsciously. That is what I have grown accustomed to.
It sounds bratty when you put it down on paper, and it is!
We grew to be entitled. We grew to believe that is it ridiculous for a parcel to take a few weeks to get to you, for a show to be cancelled or postponed, for travel to be barred, and for there to be shortages of goods.
As a first-world, Western society, we had everything in the palm of our hands. We had the privileges, and conveniences, that we adopted to be what we “deserved” what we have the “right” to have.
Do I NEED that parcel that is on its way? Absolutely not. Would I like it? Sure, but it isn’t worth the jittery feeling that I have in my chest while I wait for it.
The same feeling that I have when I stare at a map. The same feeling when I want to visit my boyfriend. The same feeling that I get when I want to get back to work.
Restlessness that should never be there.
This is not just about a package, it is also waiting for “normal”. People have been breaking their isolation orders, defying laws, protesting, refusing to wear PPE, endangering themselves and others and have been doing so under the guise of boredom. What it really is, is impatience.
They want to get moving, get going again.
They want to go back to the exciting world of “now” that we left behind. They want to have the conveniences they knew and the things that they think they deserve. Thinking they know better, en masse, than the leading scientific experts and that entitlement stems from that restlessness.
They want their world back. They want it now. No matter the cost. Not realizing that if they wait, we could have a better world than we were on track to having.
As I said, I like to think myself to be a patient person who is pretty understanding and considerate of others and of situations but I can’t be ignorant to the adjustment from the “now” society that we all came to expect but take for granted to a “when we can” society- which, in my opinion, should have always been the case.
I will remind myself to be thankful, to be grounded, to not expect or demand, and check my entitlement.
This is a time of growth and adjustment and a time to make ourselves a better, healthier, and more grateful society.
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait- it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer