Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Patience Used To Be A Virtue

The world is progressing at an incomparably fast pace these days and we have technology to thank (or blame?) for that. With emails, which travel at virtually the speed of light, snail mails have largely been overtaken (pun intended). With the net, it is also now possible to learn of news in real time and even concurrently with the event; as opposed to waiting to read about it in the newspaper the next day. With cellphones, you can simply text or call a friend to immediately relay something whereas, before, you’d have to wait to meet that friend before you’d be able to talk to them. The ease with which we can access technology to experience the world at a much accelerated pace really makes everything more efficient. Ultimately, this eliminates a lot of the time wasted in waiting, and allows us to use that time more wisely.

But, with this speed that we are made accustomed to, I believe a culture has been fostered which recognizes only instant gratification. Because waiting is no longer experienced, the virtue of patiently waiting for something desired, no matter how difficult or frustrating, is no longer valued. Delayed gratification seems to have become an obsolete concept. I mean, even with myself, I’ve observed that I get frustrated when a website takes just a few more seconds to load. And, I consider it history when I read about yesterdays news. And, I get so impatient when a movie comes out later here in the Philippines that I would rather violate intellectual property rights that wait to see it in cinemas.

But, if instant gratification is readily achievable, what’s really the use of waiting around for something. Maybe there really is some wisdom in wanting everything right at this moment. Indeed, it really avoids a lot of wasted time. Maybe patience was made a virtue only because there used to be a time when people had to wait. Maybe wanting instant gratification is not, in itself, a vice.

The problem is that this is often a root of a greater evil. So, I guess, we just have to be careful that this doesn’t develop into something worse. Like refusing to work over an extended period of time in order to achieve an ultimate goal, or possessing a sense of entitlement to a largely undeserved gratification.

Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #7.

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1 comment:

Francisco Castelo Branco said...