While driving the other day I decided to do a little research.
I noticed more drivers cutting in and out of traffic, honking their horns. In the grocery store while waiting in line to check out, the woman in front of me was checking her watch every second and tapping her foot. I guess the person in front of her was too slow.
It’s standard behavior for more people and it’s called impatience. They want things now and they won’t wait another second.
Impatience is offensive to a lot of people. On the other hand, patience is one of the virtues seldom celebrated. We tend to focus on exciting virtues like kindness, love and heroism while neglecting the useful but mundane thing like patience.
Some people are born impatient and the older you get the more impatient you become.
I was at the local discount store recently. I had purchased 21 items. They had one cashier for those with more than 21 items and five cashiers for those with fewer items.
The customer in front of me had purchased a large jar of spaghetti sauce. It went through the flimsy bag, shattered and splattered sauce and glass everywhere. The cashier called for cleanup, but I did not see anyone coming to help, so I loaded my 21 items back into my cart and moved to the less than 20 lane. The cashier told me she could not check me out because I had too many items.
“You have to go back,” she said.
I said they had a spill and it will be a while.
“Please check me out and if you need to call the manager feel free,” I said.
I tapped my foot so loud it sounded like an avalanche. That was a severe case of emotional stress that is called impatience.
People who are impatient and agitated do not know how to relax. They have health problems due to constant stress. There are things you can do if you are starting to experience some aggravation: stop and take several long breathes. It produces a calming effect. I have a better idea, though: I will stay out of that store for a while.
Have a comment or column idea for Pat? Email her at email@example.com.