Patience is a virtue. We have all heard this old adage yet, it seems, few of us actually practice this principle. Our society has no time for patience. We live in a world of instant everything: instant messaging, instant coffee, instant gratification. Every single American probably utters the phrase, “I don’t have time for this,” at least five times a day. And what is “this”? “This” could be the annoying people you work for and/or with, morning traffic, afternoon traffic, a slow server at a restaurant, the bus, etc. Anyone or anything that is not ready when we are ready, we dismiss with “I don’t have time.” How can we have time with all of the roles we must fulfill, people depending on us, deadlines and due dates looming about our heads? The world is on our shoulders and we have more worries than we have time to list them all. Or do we?
Thanksgiving night, my husband, his best friend, and I went grazing for the ever elusive, but highly anticipated Black Friday deal. We drove past stores with lines and only went into the few that were open. It wasn't even Friday. Not even close. It was 8:30 on Thursday night, yet there they were. Thousands of people waiting for midnight. Waiting for stores to close and then re-open with new drastic markdowns and discounts. Stores that did not have lines were packed with people anxiously searching for the best price. In Target, people stood in lines that snaked around the aisles. Families sent out scouts for popcorn and slushies. I would love to tell you that we found the bargain of a lifetime. I wish I could write that my husband and I found the computer with everything we wanted for only half of what we budgeted. I would like to say that my husband’s buddy found an Ipod for $75. That did not happen. The prices were not low enough for us to spend three hours in line, so we left.
This excursion of ours was not completely fruitless. I discovered that Americans, who claim to be constantly pressed for time, somehow found several hours to could stand in line for things. Stuff. I realized that our society’s instant gratification mentality only applies in certain cases. We may not have time to call our parents, spend time with our children, or thank God for all of His blessings, but we do have time to wait in line for a television that has been marked down. We make time for what matters most to us.
As the Thanksgiving holiday moves into rear view, and signs of Christmas loom ahead, let us concentrate on the what truly matters most. We may not have time for traffic, and tedious paperwork, but always make time for people, especially your family. If your family is anything like mine, they are much more valuable to you than any electronic device and far more entertaining.
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