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Tue May 2, 2017, 12:33 PM

Are people generally less patient today than in the past?

There have always been impatient people, of course, but do you think we live in an era when people are generally more impatient than any time in memory? I'm guilty of it myself at times, particularly behind the wheel. I might mutter or curse on occasion if another driver is going too slow, for example. I rarely lose my cool with people one-on-one, however. I do notice a fair number of other people do though.

Yesterday I was at the grocery store. There was only one person ahead of me at the checkout, a woman in her mid-60s, I'd guess, in a motorized scooter. She clearly had health issues. As the cashier was ringing through the items, the woman mentioned that she'd forgotten canned tomatoes and asked the cashier if someone could get some for her, so the cashier called on the public address system for another employee. This delay elicited an audible "Holy Christ" from the clearly perturbed woman waiting behind me. I turned around to look at her and she averted her eyes. Perhaps she didn't mean to say it that loudly. Maybe she was having a bad day.

But these expressions of frustration over being held up for an extra 30 seconds or a minute seem to be more common, IMO, especially in places of mass transit.

It could have something to do with this technological age that we live in. We're accustomed to having answers and information at our fingertips -- it's often just a few keystrokes away. When that immediacy doesn't carry over to other real-life situations, we can get irritable.

Anyway, that's my take. If you didn't read this post until the end because you were too impatient, I fully understand!

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Reply Are people generally less patient today than in the past? (Original post)
True Dough May 2017 OP
nolabear May 2017 #1
Initech May 2017 #32
angstlessk May 2017 #2
marybourg May 2017 #23
angstlessk May 2017 #36
hopeforchange2008 May 2017 #3
madaboutharry May 2017 #4
Moostache May 2017 #5
True Dough May 2017 #13
Vinca May 2017 #6
FiveGoodMen May 2017 #29
Vinca May 2017 #33
FiveGoodMen May 2017 #34
Vinca May 2017 #35
jberryhill May 2017 #7
Stuart G May 2017 #8
True Dough May 2017 #12
WePurrsevere May 2017 #9
2naSalit May 2017 #10
True Dough May 2017 #11
2naSalit May 2017 #19
Coventina May 2017 #14
BSdetect May 2017 #15
Atman May 2017 #16
True Dough May 2017 #18
Binkie The Clown May 2017 #17
skylucy May 2017 #26
JoeStuckInOH May 2017 #20
True Dough May 2017 #21
YoungDemCA May 2017 #22
a kennedy May 2017 #24
Jim__ May 2017 #25
True Dough May 2017 #37
dawg May 2017 #27
frazzled May 2017 #28
Horse with no Name May 2017 #30
Calculating May 2017 #31

Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:34 PM

1. I think people are terribly stressed. Lots of Last straws.

Fights on planes, road rage...that last nerve is thin as spider silk.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #1)

Tue May 2, 2017, 04:10 PM

32. And I think that so much of this can be traced back to our economic woes.

We're one of the most overworked and underpaid countries in the world. I can understand why people are stressed. And yet nobody will realize this. You know who's really bleeding you dry and mooching off your paycheck? It's not immigrants, nor is it "illegals". It's your boss!!

It's the Kochs and the Mercers, the Waltons, the Sessions, the DeVos Family, that douchebag who owns Papa John's. Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Donald Trump. Rex Tillerson. Vladimir Putin. The people who make millions and billions, while you make $12.50 an hour if you're lucky. This is no way to live and it's no way to run a country. And it's making us miserable.

Yet the people won't care. They just don't see past what Fox News tells them to think, and they'll keep voting for the same assholes who will continue to make us miserable.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:38 PM

2. Yes, the invention of the microwave made seconds seem like a long time!

All my kitchen timers were in minuets...then along came the microwave that measures everything in seconds..

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Response to angstlessk (Reply #2)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:57 PM

23. I enjoy dancing in the kitchen also! nt

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Response to marybourg (Reply #23)

Tue May 2, 2017, 04:56 PM

36. I KNEW it was the wrong spelling!

59 seconds and then the next one has you dancing!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:42 PM

3. I think there is less emphasis on generosity and tolerance in today's society

In the exchange that you described, I see the perturbed woman as someone who puts her minimal inconvenience above consideration for someone less fortunate. The PW should have offered to go get the tomatoes.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:45 PM

4. The 20th century made people impatient.

Technology makes things that use to take a long time happen quickly. People use to have to put out a lot of effort just to take a bath.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:46 PM

5. Side effect of the internet and Twitter and Snapchat and on and on...

Society HAS become more coarse, less understanding and less empathetic.

People used to getting everything and anything they want, when they want it are truly disgusting humans. The value in life is not in the things you accumulate or the material wealth or status you manage to acquire...it is in the lives you touch and shape and the good you can do in the community and lives of others, which tends to be revisited on you in return, though not always in dollars and wealth...

My wife and I helped some neighbors this week build a sand-bag wall in the hopes of holding back the flood waters from their house. This is the second "100-year flood" we are experiencing since 2015!!! Interstate 44 outside of St. Louis is literally under water and closed for a 20-mile stretch due to extreme flooding on the Meramec River (which feed the Mississippi). When I die, the moments I remember will not be the drive over to their place, or the car I was in or the clothes I was wearing or any of the other superficial and meaningless drivel that dominates advertising, television, radio, internet and life these days...I will remember the gratitude in their voices and handshakes and the feelings of despondency and helplessness in the face of nature run amok, but the hope and solace of neighbors trying to help and being there for each other in time of need...

I guess they GOP critters would have just told them to "vote with their feet", "move to another spot", "tough luck for you, but you are not making good choices", and many of the less patient in the world would shrug and give a non-committal "sorry for your troubles"...it is the world we inhabit. But it does NOT have to be that way...we CAN CHOOSE to support people and compassion over profits and corporations. If only we can turn off the TV, the radio and the internet and relearn patience and understanding instead.

John Lennon said it best...
"You may say I am a dreamer....but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will live as one."

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Response to Moostache (Reply #5)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:06 PM

13. Good on you!

If the world was full of "Moostaches" it might oddly be a more prickly place, but also a much more compassionate place!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:51 PM

6. Basic civility and common decency have gone out the window.

I know I'm a cranky old person, but I even get peeved about guys who don't take their hats off when dining indoors at a decent restaurant.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #6)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:23 PM

29. I don't know what hats have to do with decency

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #29)

Tue May 2, 2017, 04:11 PM

33. In polite society a hat is removed indoors. That's long gone, but there are times when it's

still appropriate. And put your cell phones away in a nice restaurant, too.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #33)

Tue May 2, 2017, 04:20 PM

34. I think the hat rule is arbitrary

Are the hats changing the taste of the food?

Are they blocking someone's line of sight?

I don't see a way in which removing a hat is a sign of consideration for others.

Seems like an obsession with using the right fork; like conformity for its own sake.

Now the cell phone thing...conversations can get a bit intrusive unless they're kept pretty quiet.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #34)

Tue May 2, 2017, 04:26 PM

35. As I noted, I'm an older person and I think you've made my point.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:52 PM

7. Yes, short fuses

 


People go from "calm" to "apoplectic" at the drop of a hat.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:56 PM

8. Here is the reason, in my opinion, that people, especially younger people, have less patience..

If you are reading these words, it is on computer or cell phone, or pad or this kind of computer or that...

Now a computer is not a phone, it is a computer. In older times, we would have to ....wait to get the phone,,, if another member of the family was using it...Yes...wait...Sometimes..we had to wait to watch the program we wanted to watch...yes we had to wait...sometimes we had to get up and walk to the TV in order to change the channel...that change did not happen instantly...no..

Now, there is instant downloads, and recording during the broadcast, and playing when we want to watch it...

NO WAITING..........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IN ESSENCE ............WE LEARNED TO WAIT..SAY..20-25 YEARS AGO... you had to learn to wait....
..............................NOW.........

everything is instant.... downloading..instant viewing, no waiting..now..I want it now.!!!
........ instant texting...instant food,..instant news, ..all the time... the computer needs to come on instantly..now...not in 5 minutes, but now...
......etc...etc...etc...etc...no waiting.. etc...etc..etc..

But....................................................................................................there is indeed one occasion that people are still willing and eager to wait a long time for...and they do not want the event to come any earlier than it is supposed to be.....NO INSTANT CRAP FOR THIS EVENT.....no...people want to wait the entire time it takes for the event to happen...always....wait....they want to wait.......have you guessed this event yet?.. Yes, almost all of us want to wait the entire 9 months and a few days it takes to have a baby born.. No, a couple having a child does not want the baby to be born in a 5 and a half months...that is not good for anyone including the baby....and we all know that....Yes, there is one very important event, that indeed, people are still willing to wait for...and people are willing to wait, the same amount of waiting time, that my grandmother had to wait for her baby..(my father)...same time, same wait, same idea, different person......You know..waiting a good amount of time..isn't always a bad thing...........

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #8)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:05 PM

12. I do believe

technology is a key factor. You're right about not waiting on much these days because we get so much of what we want quickly from hand-held devices.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:58 PM

9. Yes, as a society we've become a bit spoiled with 'instant gratification'...

Add in everyday stresses and the 'faceless' internet and patience, good manners and kindness seem to be endangered practices.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 12:59 PM

10. Yes!

And hurry up with that damned come-back comment, will you?

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #10)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:04 PM

11. Fast enough for ya???

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Response to True Dough (Reply #11)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:15 PM

19. Meh...

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:08 PM

14. Manners have gone out the window.

IMHO.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:09 PM

15. No friggin way!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:10 PM

16. Ain't nobody got time for dis.


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Response to Atman (Reply #16)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:13 PM

18. Atman!




Not giving up on you!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:10 PM

17. I was going to read your post, but it had an awful lot of words, so I skipped to the last line. ;)

Seriously, though, My 95 year old mom said a few days ago "I had no idea how long 60 seconds was until I got a microwave oven."

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #17)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:09 PM

26. That is so right on!!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:27 PM

20. Absolutely...

 

You live in an age where you can deliver an oral or written message to anyone in a first world nation at nearly the speed of light.

You can receive these communications in your pocket almost wherever you might be.

You can listen to just about any song from any era any time you like regardless sof what's broadcasting over the radio.

You can travel and navigate anywhere you never been without having to stop and ask for directions.

You can be on the other side of THE GLOBE in <24 hours with only a whim and credit card in your pocket.

Want something expensive NOW? Don't wait... use a charge card.

Have a question? Ask Siri/Cortana.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #20)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:32 PM

21. And I love this technological era

This little discussion forum of ours would be a whole lot less engaging if we all were "pen pals" exchanging letters in the mail.

But it does create this expectation of EVERYTHING being doable in a split second, which isn't realistic. And some of the unfortunate front-line workers who have to deal with the fallout from that don't deserve the backlash.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 01:34 PM

22. Yes.

 

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 02:11 PM

24. Yes, and I blame it on the remote control device.......

that's what started the I WANT IT NOW syndrome, thus, no patience, and short tempers. JMHO.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:07 PM

25. David Foster Wallace: What the hell is water?

Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon College Commencement speech talked about situations like this.

An excerpt:




By way of example, let's say it's an average day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging job, and you work hard for nine or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired, and you're stressed out, and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for a couple of hours and then hit the rack early because you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home - you haven't had time to shop this week, because of your challenging job - and so now, after work, you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the workday, and the traffic's very bad, so getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping, and the store's hideously, fluorescently lit, and infused with soul-killing Muzak or corporate pop, and it's pretty much the last place you want to be, but you can't just get in and quickly out: you have to wander all over the huge, overlit store's crowded aisles to find the stuff you want, and you have to manoeuvre your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course there are also the glacially slow old people and the spacey people and the kids who all block the aisle and you have to grit your teeth and try to be polite as you ask them to let you by, and eventually, finally, you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough checkout lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush, so the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating, but you can't take your fury out on the frantic
lady working the register.

Anyway, you finally get to the checkout line's front, and pay for your food, and wait to get your cheque or card authenticated by a machine, and then get told to "Have a nice day" in a voice that is the absolute voice of death, and then you have to take your creepy flimsy plastic bags of groceries in your cart through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and try to load the bags in your car in such a way that everything doesn't fall out of the bags and roll around in the trunk on the way home, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive rush-hour traffic, etc, etc.



If I choose to think this way, fine, lots of us do - except that thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic it doesn't have to be a choice. Thinking this way is my natural default setting. It's the automatic, unconscious way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I'm operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world's priorities. The thing is that there are obviously different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In this traffic, all these vehicles stuck and idling in my way: it's not impossible that some of these people in SUVs have been in horrible car accidents in the past and now find driving so traumatic that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive; or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a much bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am - it is actually I who am in his way.

Again, please don't think that I'm giving you moral advice, or that I'm saying you're "supposed to" think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it, because it's hard, it takes will and mental effort, and if you're like me, some days you won't be able to do it, or you just flat-out won't want to. But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line - maybe she's not usually like this; maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband who's dying of bone cancer, or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible - it just depends on what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important - if you want to operate on your default setting - then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren't pointless and annoying. But if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff's necessarily true: the only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.



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Response to Jim__ (Reply #25)

Tue May 2, 2017, 05:00 PM

37. Fascinating perspective

Sometimes easier said than done, of course. It's a "retraining of the mind," in a way. Periodically I remember that I'm privileged to be standing in a First-World grocery store picking and choosing from the produce while people in Sudan and Syria would give anything just to be able to wait in the checkout line to purchase the groceries that I'll be taking home.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:13 PM

27. tl

dr

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:21 PM

28. Absolutely, and technology has a lot to do with it

We expect everything to happen with a click or a keystroke. Our internal clocks have been reset.

I began to notice this in myself when I started playing solitaire on the computer as a diversion from either work or the everyday stresses of family or politics. (It really clears your head out into a state of OM, and the anxiety melts away). Click, click, click in rapid succession. One night, there was nothing on television, so mr. frazzled and I said, why don't we take out the old scrabble board and play a game? (something we used to do all the time for relaxation after our kids went to bed when they were little). I found it impossibly slow! It should go like click, click, click ... not waiting an entire 60 seconds for someone to make the next move! Even playing solitaire with a regular deck of cards feels painfully slow and unpleasant.

We buy things online with a click (no waiting in lines!). We tweet out and read messages of no more than 140 characters.

Recently, scientists have been writing about this, and talking about their findings that this constant barrage of texts and computer usage causes great anxiety and impatience in people. Texts have to be viewed and answered IMMEDIATELY or your blood pressure goes up. Put people in the real world, waiting in a grocery line, and they go berserk.

I'm trying to train myself in more long-form, slow-paced activities lately. Take it down, Jimmy, is my new motto.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:23 PM

30. Coping skills are almost non-existent

people are in a real struggle out there and they want someone to fix it.
The problem is....they aren't paying close enough attention to who they are voting for to ease their burdens.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Tue May 2, 2017, 03:58 PM

31. Some people are legitimately in a hurry

Maybe that lady behind you was in a hurry to get home and drive her kid to a doctors appointment? Maybe she had some other obligation that she was gonna be late for? I myself get furiously mad at drivers who go under the limit or unnecessarily hold me up in traffic. Generally they're txting or something stupid. I actually have places to be, and limited time in my day. People who unnecessarily steal that time from me are effectively stealing a piece of my life.

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