Learning patience has got to be the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to face in this lifetime. I’m speaking specifically to the healing process I continue to go through and how long it seems to be taking to physically recover from the unhealthy life I once lived. Upon deeper introspection, I have started to believe that my level of impatience is tied to more of a cultural shift happening in society now.
In the past three decades, there has been great leaps in science and technology including the development of cellular communications, quick acting medicines, faster diagnostic equipment for doctors to use, more powerful cars, the Internet, and so much more. Everything seems to be gearing all of us for ‘faster, faster, and faster’ and our lives seem to be rapidly following suit. This wasn’t always the case though.
I grew up in a time where I couldn’t text someone to get a quick answer and instead had to take the time to use a home phone. That was when cell phones didn’t exist and people weren’t living, eating, breathing, working, and sleeping with their phone on them. It was when messages had to be left on a house’s answering machine with the hopes that it would be retrieved at the end of a day when the person came home from work. It was also a time where there was no Internet to quickly look up the answer to everything and instead I had to travel to a local library to find those answers. If I wanted to see a movie, buy some music, or get some clothes, I had to leave my home and travel to various places to do any of them. Back then there also wasn’t high doses of caffeine in everything nor were there energy drinks. Television had only four major networks to choose from and I was usually forced to sit through an entire program and its commercials as there weren’t DVRs or hundred of other channels to surf to. And if I got sick during those years, there weren’t medicines to instantly make me feel better to mask what was going on inside and usually the only help was prolonged bed rest with chicken soup until it passed.
With all these advances that are speeding up society, it really does seem like everyone is becoming extremely impatient these days. What’s ironic though is that there are many locations in the world that I’ve travelled to, and many that I haven’t, where these advances still don’t exist. There, mainstream society takes things at a much slower pace. In rural China for example, healing is done through a very slow course that involves herbs and life changes. And there are still too those places out there which don’t rely upon cars and computers and mobile phones and minute clinics and prescriptions to get by. There people get along and live healthy just fine. Sometimes I wish I lived in a place like that. Many of the people I have met in those places seem so much more at peace then what it’s like to live in a major metropolitan area such as the one I do in the Boston, Massachusetts vicinity. One of my first experiences here with this city’s impatience level was a few years ago when there was a freak ice and snow storm that came on suddenly in the afternoon during the winter. Most everyone had headed home from their respective jobs at the same time as a result and the roads were almost at a standstill. As I was creeping along the road at 2mph, I had to stop dead in my tracks because the windshield wipers had completely frozen and I couldn’t see a single thing. When I got out of my car to get the ice off of them, another driver had opened his window nearby and shouted some terrible obscenities at me because I had made him slow down from his 2mph to 0mph.
I could go on and on with other examples of how life has grown more impatient with these advances in science and technology both in my city and many other cities as well, but what I feel is more important is to say that I’m doing what I can now to slow down and develop more patience in everything. On the roads, I am over on the far right lane driving the exact speed limit most often. At home I meditate and pray for a good hour each morning. During the day, I often sit outside in my backyard or at different places like a forest or the beach to silently observe life. Even with my writing I do in here each day, I am trying to slow down for several hours at a time as I chronicle my day to day experiences.
Unfortunately, even with my attempts to slow down, I’m still dealing with a level of impatience in regards to my physical healing. Having grown up with all this science and technological progress has left me wanting quick results with a lot of things in life, especially my healing. But today I’m doing what I can to be more patient with my body’s natural healing process. I admit it’s frustrating that I can’t fast forward it somehow with all these advances that exist. But maybe that’s a good thing, because as I try to have more patience with what I’m going through, I am also gaining a much greater appreciation for things in life again. Many of which I lost sight of so long ago, when I was that patient and much more technology-free, young boy.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson