Friday, January 8, 2010

i-TFTD #240: On Patience

i-TFTD #240: On Patience

#240-1. How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?
-Paul Sweeney

240-2. The perfection of a clock is not to go fast, but to be accurate.
-Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues, moralist and essayist (1715-1747)

240-3. The art of patience is not much about how long one can wait, but it is about how one behaves while waiting.

In the 140-character Twitter age, where we seek one-click convenience in just about everything, a two second delay in my browser displaying an article induces me to jump instead to another site. This constant hurrying has made us patients of various stress-related ailments. u lik SMS langg, no? Nicholas Carr, who gained notoriety with his predictions o! n the IT industry, wrote an article titled, Is Google making us stupid?

Patience is often
associated with slowness (imagine your favorite icon of patience replying slowly to your request for a quick decision on a trivial matter, Let us carefully consider the alternatives…”) but it is a misleading stereotype. One should be able to wait for things that require waiting without fidgeting or jumping to conclusions but one can be impulsive and itching to begin action in many situations. If you have your plate full, with multiple threads to pursue, it is easier to shift focus and spend energy in a useful manner.

Another common
mistake is to wait for too long for something in the name of patience. There is an art to setting a timeout expiry time on many things. Sending a doc for review? Indicate a reasonable time frame by which responses are expected and what are the consequence if none are received.

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