When some people want something, they want it now. They demand to have it now. They don’t have time to wait. They will take what they can get now, rather than waiting a little for something better.
We’re all equally guilty of wanting something immediately, or sooner rather than later, at one point or another. We can’t afford to wait. Time is money. Waiting means we won’t have what we want today. We may miss out on something we can experience now. We don’t want to wait for tomorrow.
Even when we decide to wait, we become jittery. We don’t know what to do with ourselves. After a while, our patience wears thin, and we begin looking for instant gratification. When we get it sooner than expected, we heave a sigh of relieve. Aaaaaahhhhh, we got it.
But did we really get what we were waiting for, or did we lower our standards to get it sooner? We accept a smaller piece of what we were waiting for in exchange for instant gratification. Why not, tomorrow may never come. Why not take a little less today? Why not get some gratification today rather than a lot more gratification tomorrow and possibly the rest of our lives? Because today is here and tomorrow may never come.
This is an instinct we’re born with: the instinct to satisfy our needs whenever we’re able to. This is an instinct we picked up from the dawn of time: take what you can now, since you may not get the chance tomorrow.
Patience goes counter to our instincts. Patience is something which must be learned and practiced. It isn’t something which comes naturally to us. Those who master patience become more successful than those who can’t. They know that waiting for long term gratification is much better than accepting temporary instant gratification. They know that going slow and doing something right is much better than rushing and doing half a job, or worse, doing it wrong and having to repeat it, which will take longer than if they had waited. These are the people who don’t have the time or money to do something right, but manage to find much more of both when something breaks and must be fixed now. These people are you and me.
This is why patience, being able to wait, is a desirable quality. It is difficult to have the moral integrity to forego instant gratification in exchange for something better at a later date. This is why it is a virtue.
Those who have that virtue have truly understood that it is better to wait for tomorrow to take the full reward, rather than taking a small sample today.
Copyright (c) by Omar Kiam
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