May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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We live in a very impatient society. Even though they say that patience is a virtue.

“Hey, why is patience a virtue? Why isn’t hurrying up a virtue?”

Am I impatient? I’m trying to figure that out. Impatient people bite lollypops, right? They also peek at the ends of mystery novels to find out who did it. I don’t do that, but I do peek at the last page to see which characters definitely survive until the end, so I can try to identify with them, because I want to live until the end. (It takes me a long time to get through books.)

Anyway, the reason I bring up impatience now, finally, is that there’s a recent study from Singapore that says that impatient people die sooner, chas v’shalom.

Now when you hear this, your first thought is, “Yeah, of course. They’re always in a hurry to get to the next stage. “When are you gonna get married?” “When are you gonna get a job?” “When are you gonna marry off your kids?” “When are you gonna retire?” “And then what?”

On the other hand, maybe this study is the reason they’re always impatient. Some part of them is like, “Nu, what’s taking so long? Some of us aren’t going to live forever.”

So because I’m the type of writer who would prefer that my readers live longer, here are some tips I found on being more patient. These tips are all recommended by “experts” who live alone at the tops of mountains and have tons of patience, which is very easy for them, because they live alone. (One of the biggest drains on patience is other people.) And they have to be patient, because it takes them forever to get a pizza delivered up there.

  1. 1. Focus on the bigger picture. Ask yourself, “Will this matter 10 years from now?” Most often the answer is, “No. I’ll be gone by then.” If you’re not sure if it’ll matter, wait 10 years and see.
  2. 2. Count to 10. You should probably do this in your head rather than out loud if you’re in public, such as in line at airport security. By the time you get to 10, most of the initial impulse to yell will be out of the way, and there will be several airport security people sitting on you.
  3. 3. Take deep, slow breaths. Close your eyes and take five deep, slow breaths, and imagine your frustration melting away. This will do nothing, because you’re just imagining it. But let’s be honest: No one who’s generally impatient is reading anymore at this point anyway. All the impatient readers have skipped to the end of the list to see how the article turns out and whether anyone dies at the end. At most, all they’re reading are the words in bold. Should we wait for them to come back? Nah, we don’t have all day. Let’s talk about them. Give me one second, though—I need to start a new paragraph.
  4. 4. Remind yourself that things that are worthwhile take time. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Counting to 10? That’s really going to help these people? Think about it. How many of these tips work if you’re driving? Should you close your eyes and wait for your impatience to melt away?
  5. 5. Remember that being patient with others is a form of respect. Maybe we should talk about how to be more patient with impatient people. Not that they’re patient with us. So maybe we should just mess with them. Like for example, we can tell them stories really really slowly.
  6. 6. Keep a journal. The truth is, though, that we’re all impatient about certain things. Like when you get trapped behind a group of people walking really slowly on the sidewalk. Or when you have a work deadline and your computer isn’t cooperating because it’s “busy.” What is it busy doing? And for whom?
  7. 7. Constantly fidget with something. Like when you’re behind someone in line waiting to buy a ticket for a train or a bus, and they have to take 10 minutes to decide, because they had absolutely no inkling of where they were going when they got on line to buy this ticket.
  8. 8. Roll your eyes and go, “Cccccchhhhhh!” a lot. Like when you’re stuck behind a garbage truck that has to stop at every single house. Every house! Or when you’re waiting for your kids to do homework you can easily do yourself in a fraction of the time. “Are you thinking, or are you spacing out in the general direction of the page?”
  9. 9. Fantasize picking people up and physically tossing them out of your way. Also, sitting in any kind of significant traffic gives you a hernia. And don’t get me started on dealing with impatient people.
  10. 10. Order pizza at least a week before you want it delivered to your mountain.

On the other hand, there are a lot of studies as to what kills us, and there’s really no pattern. According to studies, these are some of the people who die “sooner”: Lefties, people who sleep too much, people who drink too much coffee, obese people, people who are too skinny, people who run too much, really tall people and men. Just “men” in general.

I think scientists keep coming up with all these theories because we’re supposed to live until 120, but almost no one does, except random people who make the news. One hundred twenty years for their 15 minutes of fame. Now that’s patience.

(Anyway, speaking of impatience, my sixth book, which was due out Pesach, is coming out around Shavuos. It will no longer be called “Jewish Time” as I’d originally planned, because apparently that title is jinxed. Instead it will be called, “For This I Had to Grow Up?” And it’s about things like this.)

By Mordechai Schmutter

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, among other papers. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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