IS PATIENCE A LOST VIRTUE?

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter. – Paulo Coelho

If you’re too impatient, you might make quick decisions resulting in huge consequences. If you’re too patient, you might pursue the wrong options for too long, wasting a big chunk of your time. The question is, where can you find the right balance in this fast-paced life?

Both patience and impatience have their flaws, but our society seems to push to hustle while telling us to hold on.

Do you remember the hunter-gatherers few thousand years ago? when they couldn’t find food, it was time to consider alternatives and change strategies; to survive. With time people learnt to settle down, they learnt the value of patience when they harvested crops, travelled far to trade each time coming back home, rewarded with festivities and family time.

Time has changed again. Twenty years ago, companies had five-year plans. Nowadays, life is a bit more complicated; a company with a five-year plan would be a joke; delivering an obsolete product to the market. Entrepreneurs today must pay more attention to the brewing changes, and be willing to revamp more frequently. They must be impatient to get the results or miss out on opportunities. And faster technology changes, the less patience will pay.

What is obvious is that we have many more opportunities to be impatient today. Technology, social lives, personal schedules and work often collide. Many of these collisions bring about unexpected costs. And unexpected costs lead to impatience.

We have video games, smartphones, social media, ebooks, online movies virtual and live sports for our leisure time. And there is always something better to do in the midst of an unexpected hold-up.

We don’t have to leave the house for entertainment. Technology has made us lazy. We don’t even have to find directions. We have an automated voice instructing our twists and turns. Even running an errand is not required anymore. Everything can reach our doorstep at the click of a button.

Where are we actually leading in terms of advancement? We are succumbing to laziness fueled by capitalism. We have more time for ourselves than ever, but we are not sure of our choices, owing to innumerable options. And too many options leads to impatience.

And then there is the hankering need for gratification. We tend to choose the options in our life with immediate results rather than wait for eventual better results. We want to remain healthy, but we order rich and heavy dessert to quench our emotional or behavioural needs. Our logical side comprehends the consequences but still yields to visible outcomes.

Let’s explore the emotional side too. The pixelated canvas has become a veil to hide actual feelings and portray the other self which one wants to show to the world. We don’t need to work on relationships and feelings. We have emojis or else we just block and move on. There’s no patience whatsoever lurking anywhere in these social taboo.
We don’t need to spend time making decisions or follow a routine. Everything is always available, 24/7.

Patience is not always a virtue. We should consider if there are ways to speed things up, or if there are better uses of our time, attention, and energy. Today’s world revolves in high pressure. Impatience definitely yield opportunities, rewards and capital. But at the same time, it is accompanied by increasing stress level, increased morbidity and reduced age of mortality.

The balance is about not getting flustered when making decisions, but not taking so much time that the competition and opportunities pass you by. There’s a very thin line in between being impatient and taking opportunities. Patience is not always the best today but let’s find the balance between the options available to us and let’s make it a point to conserve this virtue in us. It’s definitely not lost, it’s just being layered with technology and stuff. It lays inside us, we just need to find it.

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