Inspiration provided for this post by Mutual Benefit’s deluxe edition release of his magnificent album: “Love’s Crushing Diamond”. Within each song lies patience and understanding. Two things I’ve been looking for those around me for a while now. It gets the people going….slow.
Someone told me patience is a virtue back when I was a kid. It was repeated again as I reached every transitional stage in my life. The awkward middle school years. Moving on from your first true love in high school. The first day in the painfully small dorm, and now, graduating college moving into a first job. In all scenarios, including today’s, the virtue I so lacked was the one trait I needed most.
Whether you’re 11, 16, 18, or 22 we have become accustomed as youth to push time forward as quickly as possible. You’re always almost 16. Your friends set countdowns on their iPhones for their 21st birthday. Our perspectives lie in the brighter horizon, not the current landscape we walk through. And as our elders plead for us to learn patience, knowing how fleeting time becomes, we push them aside so to “drive the car” and “get a job”. In the midst of all of this, we lose ourselves.
I sat today at the dinner table and caught my grandfather staring at the mirror pulling back his skin as if it would magically return to its youthful state. But with his fingers’ release, his dreams fell, leaving him with the sad reminder that he is not what he once was. He found patience too late. And so do most.
For my generation, the Millennials, we need instant pleasure. In 10 second SnapChats, 6 second Vines, and the countless refreshes of Twitter the present becomes drowned out. Road trips fall short of their lofty expectations as interactions change from person:person to person:person:phone. Our often-uncomfortable feelings during the present pull our attention to technology and distractions that lie neither in the present nor future.
I’m sorely guilty of this generation’s flaws. In these transition phases I’ve become restless. I want so much from life, and I’m already scared of not accomplishing and experiencing all there is to offer. The discomfort becomes painful as my eyes resort to screens and mouth turns to warped beverages.
If only the virtue I needed was present. If only I could accept the pain, if we could accept the pain – we may see the beauty within the scars. Countdown clocks in our phones can generate excitement for the future but should not pull us from the here and now. These transitions are fucking painful. And they should be.
I was once told by an Italian chef in Tuscany that the only way one can grow is to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Being patient with the present can help us accept the now, and live in the now. If patience isn’t acquired, it will be forced upon us when patience is all we have; when the horizon does not continue upon reaching it.
If this post doesn’t inspire you, then the end of “Let’s Play” by Mutual Benefit should. The laugh at the end is my view of the epitome of sheer and organic happiness from being a part of the present.
Interested in more Audible Thoughts? See them by clicking here.