Patience: The Lost Virtue

Photo by Anna Shvets on

If there is a key word to describe our current culture, then it would be SPEED

Our lives are governed by speed in everything from our commutes to our internet connections.

Right here. Right now.
Fast wi-fi
Instant streaming
Same day deliveries
“15 Second Abs”
Instant noodles

Quick results = success. The end product less traveled.

Ancient wisdom said – “forget same day delivery!” OR perhaps more likely – maxima enim, patientia virtus  – patience is the greatest virtue.

Patience seems to have been lost culturally somewhere post-dial up connection. I can remember waiting 5 minutes to load a webpage and it was “wow…behold…the power of the internet” You were happy to wait because that was how it went. Now if I see 3G on my phone screen I die a little inside. I can remember someone on a train a couple of years ago screaming because he couldn’t get a good wi-fi connection, while travelling at 100mph and using a mobile phone. We forget how the idea of sitting on the internet with a phone the same size as our hand while on a train with no wires would have sounded like science fiction not all that long ago. Our expectations evolve. Everything has a cool down period. A time when the initial buzz of something wears off. Ever been to the gym a couple of times or started a new diet and looked in the mirror after a few days and thought…”where are my results?…This plan doesn’t work at all.” Patience is a rarity in society now. If modern marketing has added anything catchy you can steal with pride and use in a blog post relating to patience then it’s….

“Good things come to those who wait.”  – Heinz tomato Ketchup marketing slogan

Our global food giant friend had a good point. You have to wait for the best things in life. Relationships, friendships, careers, fitness, wealth, art, skills, knowledge, love – they don’t and can’t come instantly. They take TIME. They take PATIENCE and COMMITMENT. Your friends from school were likely people you spent several days a week with for years. Yet when we’re older we expect people to be our friends after a few days. “I don’t think so and so likes me so much.” Or we use dating apps and expect to hit it off with people instantly. Or wonder why a swipe of a picture and a few messages doesn’t build anything solid. Quick wins and short term results don’t require you to wait, invest time and commit to something regularly.

A long term and patient philosophy forgets about quick wins and short term success. A long term philosophy – seeing the bigger picture – you’ll take the road less travelled and be happy to be patient. Because after all – good things come to those who wait.

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