Are We Impatient By Nature?

Have you ever heard people tell you that ‘you have to learn to be more patient?’They expect you to be willing to wait for what you want. Our society is not made of patient people, how can you expect such a virtue from people who were never taught the value of patience? I know some people disagree with me and will say to themselves ‘I’m a patient person.’

Let us take a patient test and see how you fare.
1. Have you ever passed a traffic light without stopping when it is red?
2. Have you ever beat the queue in a Bank or restaurant or fuelling station?
3. Do you read the beginning and end of an article or novel before reading the body of the material?
4. Do you watch movies with your finger on the fast-forward button?

If you have done any two of these then you are an impatient person. Here is the good news, it’s not your fault that you are an impatient person. It’s the fault of the Nigerian society and the unconscious programming of the mind that there is a need to hurry. Let’s trace your history from your childhood, adolescence and your adult life. I’m sure that with so many similarities in the life of many people, they would agree with me that impatience is an unwritten Nigerian culture.

A Child’s Life

Do you recall how many times you were required to ‘do it quickly’ or ‘do it now’ or ‘hurry up’? Nobody cared about your own pace. You were on parent’s time and so you had to hurry. There was urgency in everything you did, whether it was in your preparation for school or in the speed you are required to enter the car immediately your parents arrived at your school at the end of the day (how dare you conclude your conversation with your friend before you come to the car?).

The Adolescence Life

Who recalls this Nigerian slang ‘you be sharp guy’? This depicts the attitude of Nigerian youths towards patience and procedure. The speed at which you are able to acquire any coveted possession will win friendships for you, irrespective of the means by which it was acquired. The most important rule then was ‘do not get caught.’ I know some of you do not agree with me. So I implore you to take a second and consider these two questions. What criteria do most Nigerian parents use to judge the intelligence of their children? Are they judge based on the maturity of their conversation skills or the score on their report card?

Your Adult Life

How many times have you driven on a road and the traffic light ahead of you is about to change from green to red? Instead of reducing the speed of your car, you increase it in an attempt to beat the traffic light. How many times have you moved your car before the red traffic light turns green? I know you will say that it is remaining just two seconds. Those were two seconds that you were not willing to wait for. Your mind has been programmed to accept impatience as a norm that you begin to make excuses for your actions. In a society where impatience rules, it is easy to follow the band wagon. When you compile all the seconds, you have acquired from your impatience, you begin to wonder ‘what did I do with the time?’

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