Fast paced-ness is contagious. Having to deal with a hundred and one things at once, juggling between our demanding careers, our commitment to our immediate and extended families, and of course our constant socializing both online and offline, makes for a rapidly-paced lifestyle. The more pressing matters get, the faster we attempt to get through our day. The faster we move, the more impatient we in turn become. Impatience tends to get in the mix with selfishness and an ill-mannered behavior, producing very ugly traits.
Our demanding lifestyles have drastically reduced the number of hours we spend on our personal daily commitments. Most of us spend about eight to ten hours a day either at a job or being educated, take another six to seven hours of sleep, and you’re only left with about a third of our day to go through anything and everything else we need to; be it family, friends, errands, or anything in between.
Let’s start with our families. Living rooms in the house used to be where you would hang out, now we hang out in our rooms and step out for a bit to have a short conversation, and what a different conversation it has become. Our impatient attitudes have turned us impulsive, reactive, with a high tendency to cut off others mid-sentence to make our point. I notice this most clearly when I sit with my grandparents, the manner in which they speak is slower paced and patient, taking every care and all the time they have to clearly present their points and deliver the message.
Our careers also suffer from our often erratic behaviors. We get into a project, perhaps a new line of work, and tend to be overly judgmental all too quickly. Not allowing the time for the normal course of work to shape into a routine, or the time for us to get to know our colleagues better, or to even know how we can shape the situation to better suit our motivations. All too quickly, we switch off mentally, turn the situation into something negative, disengage from our place of work, and either end up in misery or move on to a different opportunity.
We even notice it on the roads. How many times have we seen someone, or even ourselves, getting impatient and angry at someone taking their time parking or taking a turn? Most of the time, we don’t have any pressing appointment to get to, but our endless aim to cut time short and achieve more in shorter periods of time makes us have a natural tendency towards impatience.
Bringing it closer to home, our region has been known throughout history for its hospitality. Middle Easterners have always been brought up to be well mannered, to allow both friend and stranger the time of day, to conform to certain practices of manners and behaviors – our very highly structured society is a result of that. As we move into becoming a developed nation, let us not lose sight of our positive and welcoming nature. Let us not conform to the stereotype that all city people are impatient. Let us remember always to take a breath, relax, and give allowance to time.
N.B. I admit I have assumed the worst in my comparisons, only to showcase the unpleasant side of the developments in the story.
My sincere thanks and appreciation go to M.A. for giving me the inspiration to write this piece.