Is It Better to Wait?

I don't know about you.  I hate waiting.

But experts believe waiting is a good thing.

Well.  Let's clarify.

You may remember the famous marshmallow test, where kids were given the soft chewy treats and were told if they waited for 15 minutes before they ate them, they would get more.

Predictably, some of the kids ate the marshmallows right away. But some waited, and got their reward.

Can waiting help us, though, in adult life?

Certainly, it's better to wait to collect Social Security (you get more if you wait till after you qualify).  And waiting is certainly better than yelling "Surprise!" before the anticipated guest arrives.

Waiting is one of those softer skills often ignored and little value-placed. The concept of waiting can cover many aspects of our lives and is often supported by frustrations, boredom, impatience or a restlessness, according to Leadership Associate at Health Educ
ation England Diversity & Inclusion, in the UK.

But here's a quote you may not have heard, from Elizabeth
Taylor (no, not that one):

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” 

Humans categorically do not like to wait. We want immediate gratification.  Especially today.  Why call someone and wait for the phone to ring when you can text them instantaneously (and not have to wait while they're talking)?

Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger(tell that to the president); or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties.

We're all short on patience these days.  If my smartphone doesn't accept my password quickly enough, I have to restrain myself from throwing it.   

But who hasn't felt better about waiting, when you're trying to reach a goal?  Most of my life I've been on a diet, and I hate that you have to put off eating what you want.  But how great I feel when the pounds come off (even when it takes forever).

And here's the best part about waiting.  Even a snail eventually reaches its destination.

So will that make me feel better when I'm sitting behind a locked line of cars?  I doubt it.  But I'm learning to just take a deep breath, and try not to swear.



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