Everything that means anything takes time, usually a lifetime. One characteristic I long to gift my children is patience. As humans, Americans in particular, we have never acted as a society that exudes patience. Not only are we lacking in the aforementioned virtue, our tolerance of anything that requires time and endurance is becoming more and more loathsome. Most tasks in life can be completed lickety-split. With every technological advance, ways of doing things becomes automated and faster and faster.
I can vividly remember my first car; a blue old clunker Pontiac, bequeathed to me by my grandfather. I was very grateful for the means of transportation but a little turned off by the amount of time I had to spend caring for the car. I spent so much time receiving oil changes and taking it to the garage to find out why the air stopped blowing, or why it wouldn’t shift out of park. I spent many hours waiting for my ole hag to be revived from one breakdown to another. I sat and I sat and I did so WITHOUT a phone. Yep, just sitting, with impatience dripping from my soul. I can distinctly remember reading the advertisement posters over and over and watching Geraldo Rivera on the corner television that likely only received three channels. Innovative, rapid solutions emerged to eliminate the feeling of this particular human condition. Boredom. Today, I could not imagine sitting, waiting for an oil change with zero distractions, talk about torture…
Humans need constant stimulation, getting the job done with ease has become part of our evolution. Hurry, hurry, hurry -get the task complete. This is a very effective mentality when brought into the workplace. However, I believe we are misguided in missing out on the benefits of patience. Can the human experience evolve past the need for patience? Taking a deep look into what matters most, reveals the answer.
True love requires us to wait – to be patient. You find your soul-mate, you promise to love one another for eternity – the truth is, it takes years and years to bring about the type of love that endures. You can say you love your spouse but until you have weathered the trenches, fighting for the survival of your love, does true love reveal itself.
The friendships we forge with others are such a blessing. Having people who share similar interests, and the ability to laugh and hold each other up in difficult circumstances are so important. Nonetheless, the most pure friendships are those which have stood the test of time. Loyalty, honesty and trust are attributes that take time to grow and become solid. The grace that friendship imparts only becomes greater with time.
When you establish an exercise routine or a healthy lifestyle routine, it requires time for the benefits to be appreciated. You spend a couple of weeks sore or wanting to eat only bread and cheese. After a while, you begin to notice muscles that you have never felt before. You get stronger and feel better, you begin to realize healthier choices leave you lighter, more energized. If you lose sight of your goals, for even a brief moment, you’re eating chili cheese fries and weighing in a twenty pounds heavier. The benefits of engaging in a healthy lifestyle take years and years of practice to become routine and to evoke long term benefits. The same holds true of a lifetime of unhealthy choices, after years of neglect, your health begins to deteriorate and you find yourself in a state of dis-ease.
When it was time for me to go off to college, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. How fortunate are the few that know exactly what they are aiming for right out of the high school gate?! What I did not realize then, was I could have become great at anything. My work ethic has always been top notch. I couldn’t for-see the value of investing time into any and everything I enjoyed. Very few people come out of college on top of their careers. What you do for a living takes years and years to develop; sometimes taking a lifetime to brandish desired outcomes and fulfillment.
The old adage, Rome was not built in a day, is something I tell myself frequently. We have become a society in demand of all things HERE and NOW. And rightfully so, it is a part of our evolution. I yearn to teach my younger self that the most important elements of life require patience and nurturing. Everything that is worth anything takes a lifetime to obtain. No need to rush to the end. My greatest hope for humanity lies in having the ability to enjoy the journey – patiently.