THAT is one thing this pandemic has taught me and hopefully us. This pandemic has brought us to a grinding and screeching halt. All our actions have virtually become slower and prolonged. Observe.
We used to be impatient with grocery lines. We would mutter and sometimes curse. Look now. We wait in line, patiently and quietly. When we order out, we are now even grateful when the food arrives thirty minutes late. If this had happened pre-pandemic we would all be complaining. But do we now? No, we are now grateful that somehow it arrived. When we go to the bank and we see a mile-long line, do we complain? You know the answer. We fall in line with our masks and shields and accept the truth that you could stand there for at least an hour. Again, if this happened before all this, we would all be berating the bad service of the bank. Now we remain quiet. And the list goes on, the line goes long. Yet we stay and learn the lost manner of patience.
Perhaps, we do so because we really have no choice. Perhaps. Like we wait patiently for the vaccine. Or maybe it could also be because it has been there all along, that patience thing. We just forgot because were so accustomed to instant gratifications. This right now attitude became an entitlement rather than a consequence. We got used to it and accepted it as normal. But haste has never been and will never be the mark of a peaceful soul. Patience is.
Patience has benefits that we have forgotten. It makes us calmer and more appreciative of all that is around us whether it be persons or situations. When I look at lines today, people are generally keeping to themselves and you rarely hear people ranting. I like it. The ill-mannered seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth or at least have drowned in their masks and shields. People today are more tolerant of each other, more understanding, and yes more patient.
That is one thing that I shall miss when all is back to the so-called normal. I will miss the quiet of patience. I was in a mall some time ago and I was struck by the silence. Of course, there was some sort of trance music being played but that was all. It was quiet. I looked around. People did their business in the silence. Eating, lining up, shopping, walking. It was like a monastery or a church. And I liked it.
When we do go back to normalcy, I know that people will start complaining again. They will be impatient and grouchy and ill-mannered. Again.
But I can dream. I can dream that if we may have learned one lesson, it would be to wait. I hope we have learned that patience can be practiced. But we know what will happen.