Why I Care About Patience

In his stand up special ‘Hilarious,’ Louis C.K. talks about “white people problems.” Problems that we make up for ourselves. One observation he makes, in particular, is that we get upset when things aren’t instantaneous. When our phones take longer than we expect to send an email or receive a text. “It’s going to space! Could you give it a second to get back from space?”

I’ll confess that I felt a similar frustration recently when activating my new iPhone 4S. After a day and a half of trying to activate it – part of that time I was completely without a phone – I got pretty upset. Luckily, in taking out my frustrations, no AT&T reps were harmed. Well… maybe Kevin. But when the issue remained unresolved after 2 days of unsuccessful activation attempts, something hit me. It really didn’t matter.

Could it wait? Yes, it could. I had another phone that was perfectly functional. I’d figure out what I needed to do, and the whole situation would be resolved eventually. Sure, I was anxious to be able to use the new phone, but did I need to immediately? No. I was okay. Everything was going to be okay.

Impatience is everywhere. In traffic, at the office. People become enraged because the highway is congested, whether they’re running late for an important meeting or just want to get where they’re going. But guess what? Everyone feels that way. You’re not the only one with that “don’t you know I have somewhere to be?” feeling. Many of the other drivers are feeling the exact same thing. But is there any real consequence to your tardiness? Well, there might be. But hey, that’s what traffic reports are for. Sigalert.com, Los Angeles area!

I’m well aware that sometimes “be patient” is easier said than done. But whether you’re waiting in line, experiencing technical difficulties, or the like, take a deep breath. Think about what you have. Realize it’s not that bad. Give it a second to get back from space.

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