We are always in a rush to do something. Our time is precious. We can barely hide our disdain when someone or something wastes our time.
We can’t stand it when someone puts us on hold. We impatiently wait for a response to a text message. We stare at the cashier hoping to speed him up. We swear and slap our hands on the steering wheel if we miss a traffic light.
We are losing the virtue of patience and unfortunately it will only get worse.
This next generation will never know a world without the Internet. They will have been taught that instant gratification and entertainment is in the palm of their hands. The moment they cry or cause of ruckus, their parents will pacify them with a digital gadget. From early on, these kids aren’t given much of a chance to practice patience.
As adults, we no longer pacify ourselves when we are emotional, but we pacify ourselves when we are bored. We must know everything all the time. We hate being surprised. We must know what the weather will be like in 14 days, right now. We must know the definition of a word, right now. Gone are the days when our minds are left alone to ponder the unknowns. Gone is our patience.
Without patience, we become more likely to blame others or certain circumstances for wasting our time. It’s the mother who freaks out at her daughter for dawdling down the sidewalk. It’s the father who preaches to his son that time is money. It’s the traveler who misses his flight because the security lineup was too long.
There is no doubt, it can be frustrating to be delayed, but let us not worry about external variables outside of our control. If we contemplate how we use our own free time, we will quickly realize how much time we waste of our own. For example, the time we save from passing a few cars while speeding down the highway is quickly wasted on watching TV. Or the traveler who catches his flight home on time gets home only to ignore his family.
How precious is our time if we spend it in ways that are worthless?
We ourselves are the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting our time.
How much time have we spent doing the following?
- Stewing in anger about something that happened in the past
- Gossiping about the breaking news that took place thousands of miles away
- Endlessly searching the web for a deal to save a few bucks
- Fantasizing about other’s lives (Using Social Media is a form of fantasizing)
- Randomly surfing videos and webpages to fill time
My argument is this, we should stop being angry at time wasters that are outside of our control and look to clean up our own poor habits first. We should look at a mirror before we look through the window and take responsibility for our own lives. We should have more patience with others and less patience with ourselves.
To learn to respect time, we can start by learning the value of time.
Create a personal doomsday clock and keep it in a place where you can easily refer to it. The calculation for a personal doomsday clock is simple:
Find out the average life expectancy of your country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
Take the average life expectancy and subtract your current age from it. Now multiple by 365. The result is a guess of how many days left you have to live.
((Ave. life expectancy) - (Current Age)) * 365 = # of days left
Or for those of you who want a more accurate calculation, check out this website: