So what’s wrong with waiting, anyway? Nothing. We’re just not accustomed to doing it very well anymore.
It’s July 2020 and who would have thought we’d still be in the middle of a global pandemic?
Maybe the scientists and epidemiologists did, but certainly not the rest of us. Especially us Americans.
While other parts of the planet are beginning to experience the other side of COVID-19, the U.S. didn’t quite get the message the first time. And now we’re paying the price. Big time.
Many U.S. states lifted restrictions too quickly so that they could “get back to normal”-but as we have seen, things are anything but normal. And now we’re in trouble again.
What’s our problem? Why can’t we wait?
Because we’ve conditioned ourselves to not practice patience. And we don’t want to go back.
We’ve taught ourselves that patience is no longer needed if we can get things instantly-like movies, music, pictures, videos, and so many other things online.
We’re living in an on-demand world, and demand we do. We want-and need-instant gratification.
We’ve talked ourselves out of waiting and into wanting. Wanting it now.
We’re even being groomed to believe we won’t need to wait for something as slow as the mail or UPS to deliver our new shoes in one week when we could potentially have them delivered by drone in one hour.
Are these all bad things? It depends on your perspective. Comme ci, comme ça.
So what’s wrong with waiting, anyway? Nothing. We’re just not accustomed to doing it very well anymore. And now we are perfectly poised to witness consequences of our choices: more illness and more COVID deaths.
All because we just can’t wait.
Uff da. It doesn’t get more poignant than that.
Remember the concept of delaying gratification? In his best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck writes, “Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with.”