Where’d All the Patience Go?

Yesterday I had to go to Walmart to pick up a few odds and ends for school.  I only had about five or so items, and everyone else had a lot more than me.  What made it worse was that there were only three registers open for checking out.  As I waited, I started tapping my foot, impatiently.  Then, I deeply sighed to myself in frustration.

Where are all the employees?  I have places to go.  I have to get to work.  I only have five stinkin’ items.  

That’s when I realized I was demonstrating a stereotypical American individual; rude and impatient.

This made me wonder, why are we so impatient?  Why is waiting in a line for more than five minutes life-altering?

Our lives are too fast.  Everything as at the tip of our fingertips, or sent to us in a fraction of a second.  Waiting in line for five minutes now seems like an eternity because we are used to our daily lives being super speedy. This makes me nervous because as time moves forward and our technology changes every month, we are continuing to grow more impatient, and lazy.  I really do not want this to be our future.

So what are we to do?  It’s easier said than done to just “stop being lazy.”  It’s actually impossible to some people.  In Walmart when I acted like waiting in line for a few minutes was the worst thing in the world, I just thought about how ridiculous I was being.  Instead, I thought to myself, “Well, it was my decision to go to Walmart on a whim so I have no right to be complaining.”

Like I said, easier said than done.  I know several people who would not be able to alter their thoughts into positive thinking.

I also think that our fast-paced days makes people develop rude habits.  For instance, obeying the rules of the road has now become faux pas.  If you drive the speed limit, you see a car riding your butt.  If you stop the appropriate amount of time at a stop sign, the car behind you rides your butt.  If you are going the speed limit in a lane, the car behind you zooms angrily in the next lane to get around you.  No one stops at stop lights when they turn yellow.  People constantly run red lights, and go too fast on the roads.  No one stops for pedestrians, even if they have a cross walk.  People yell profanities, and flip you off if you reprimand them (by casually beeping the horn the car came installed with) for disobeying the law.

Everyone needs to get to their destination lickity-split.  When they have to wait in traffic, dear Lord, it’s a madhouse on the roads.  You have to always anticipate the worst in life, and I think people are failing to forget to do this.  Some days you will encounter unfortunate events on the road, but this certainly does not give us the right to be rude and impatient.  You are endangering not only the safety of yourself, but others.

Sometimes you have to have patience.  It is really difficult at times, but I think developing patience is something that everyone should try.  You will see yourself becoming more relaxed, and notice others around you to appear more calm than usual.



  1. People are definitely becoming more impatient as of late. I really notice this at work. When someone is in my cube working with me and I need to open a new application on my computer, they make it seem like I’m the most patient person on the planet for not freaking out that it takes 5-10 seconds for an application to start. I noticed the same thing in World of Warcraft. It takes 10 seconds to resurrect a dead player. It isn’t like I would get annoyed by it, but compared to the other actions in the game, you definitely noticed the time it took. But you have the right idea, it is all about having the right mindset about it. You can think about how you are in line and it is taking forever, or you can forget about it and let your mind wander. “I can smell the produce from here. Those pears look good. I wonder where it came from. It could be from another country. Probably a big field filled with pear trees. Pears grow on trees, right? Yea. Pretty sure. Wonder what the guy who picked it is like. Does he make a good living picking fruit? Probably not. Thats upsetting. I hope its safe at least. No tall ladder and touching pesticides or anything. Do they use pesticides on pears? Oh, I’m up next in line.”

    1. Such a good comment. I definitley see this at work too. We depend on computers for a lot of our jobs, and when applications do not take a fraction of a second we start to have mental breakdowns. I feel this is why I physically feel 10 years older, I am probably too impatient. A good example is us waiting an hour for dinner. That took a lot of patience. Nice job relating some form of nerd-game to my post! I enjoyed that part. Also, I wonder when we do wait in line, what you actually think about. Is it pears?

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