Waiting for the train to pass by……



by Kenneth Justice

~ When I was a kid ‘waiting’ was one of the hardest things I had to deal with in life.

As a kid it seems that ten minutes is an eternity.

“Can I have desert now mom?”

“No, you have to wait till your little brother is done eating his dinner”


Life as a kid could be tough……..

Oddly enough, as adults it seems we have created a society where having to wait is par for the course.

–> go to the bank and you wait in line

–> go to the grocery store and you wait in line

–> go to an amusement park and you really wait in lines……

Wait, wait, wait,

What are we all waiting for?

Personally, I have been waiting for my book to go through the final details of the publishing process….it has been a test of my patience!

I’ve also been waiting for my life to move on……

Last year I made some major decisions but because there are certain time frames I have to adhere to……much of my life feels in a sort-of-limbo; I have to wait for things to come to fruition.

I’ve heard it said that the British have mastered the skill of waiting. In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe, Arthur Dent says, “I’m British, I know how to queue”

We all know the cliches, “Good things come to those who wait”

But memorizing cliches doesn’t make it easier to wait!

I am human and more specifically; I come from Western Culture where we want what we want; now!

That is where the positive elements of spirituality (my faith in God) come in to play for me. Prayer, meditation, and having a faith in a sovereign higher power help to calm me. Because when I’m left to myself I start obsessing over how much I want what I want; now!

Another element in life that makes it difficult for me to wait is our way of life; everything in Western Culture is designed to reinforce our attitude of getting what we want now.

Take for instance how many people eat microwave popcorn versus stove-top popcorn…..we’ve become a society so obsessed with instant everything, that we can’t wait a few minutes longer to make kettle corn (which tastes so much better than microwave popcorn!)

Or consider these new fangled (I sound old don’t I) Keurig’s where you push a button and your coffee is made ‘instantly‘. It takes all of 3 – 5 minutes for my tea kettle to boil which I then pour into my French Press for awesome coffee……

Has our lives become so busy that we can’t take an extra 3 or 4 minutes to make really good popcorn or really good coffee?

What is wrong with us in Western Society? In other cultures they celebrate the joy of preparing the food, sometimes it is an all day event….

Yet here in Western Society we celebrate the joy of efficiency…..

to which I ask; WHY?

Why must everything be so damned efficient?

Why must everything taste below average because we aren’t willing to take the time to do things right?

Waiting can be difficult: I get that,

I have a difficult time waiting: I admit it,

But, I wonder if somewhere along the line we somehow got it into our heads that ‘waiting’ is somehow wrong….or detestable…..and we’ve gone out of our way as a society to eliminate as many forms of waiting as possible

And, as much as I get annoyed with long lines at the bank, grocery store, and amusement parks……I often end up having really good conversations with the people standing next to me……

Sometimes the wait is worth it…..

Like a good cup of coffee; waiting for my French Press is totally worth it, which reminds me, I think I’ll have another cup,








Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. Is it efficiency? Or do we fear to loose this little something if we don’t get it… now?
    I’m learning patience, it’s a difficult language but meeting all these people on the way to patience is for sure, worth. it’s sometimes also a way to know myself better 🙂

  2. I love this positivity. The whole post resonates. 🙂

  3. It might have something to do with efficiency but it seems to me that it’s linked to all the things people feel they have to do. Time is money. Time is valuable. Time is…. I think we rush around so much that we don’t actually invest ourselves in whatever we ARE doing at the moment…because we are already thinking about what we have to do next. So if the food tastes bad we might not notice because we really aren’t paying attention to the food in the first place…we are already at the place we are going to be when we are finished eating. Faster has come to mean better because it will give us more time to do something else…even if “something else” will end up being the spring board for the next thing….

    • hitandrun,

      “So if the food tastes bad we might notice because we really aren’t paying attention to the food in the first place”

      excellent thought!

  4. I have a new friend who is brilliant. His mind is impatient though.When I talk he doesn’t wait to listen. He has already analyzed the very incomplete input of information ans is spitting out an incorrect conclusion. Now, when he is on his feet at a whiteboard this fast thinking is inspiring. As a friend it feels arrogant and insensitive. I am a patient listener. I watch a teens face and look for when they are ready for me to ask a question or comment. Being patient with people who think differently is a gift I was given. Relationships with people’s hearts is never efficient.

  5. very well written,
    I guess waiting (not for crazy long hours) for few things were always fun as compared to the hastiness in everything now days. We just don’t seem to have patience and time for anyone and anything now days because we are always in hurry.

  6. Think I might make some kettle corn tonight….and you are right spot on here. Btw kettle corn when I was a kid was just called popcorn!

  7. I know what you mean. I just got back from a vacation in New Mexico and visited some ancient Native American sites. It made me think about how crowded and self-stressing our lives have become. I plan on blogging about it as soon as I make the time!

  8. We live a culture of instant gratification.

    The best things in life are worth waiting for.

  9. excellent post! i couldn’t agree more; waiting totally sucks BUT it depends on what you’re waiting for. waiting at the bank well, not so fun; waiting in line at the amusement park so you can have some fun – can be worth it, waiting for better food – totally worth it! i do get so tired of everyone being on the run all the time. it’s just ridiculous. a couple of minutes for something isn’t going to hurt you. but as other commenters have said – time is money; this probably started at a time when corporations started getting really big and were passing that message along which is why families don’t have dinners together much anymore, etc., and has contributed to our losing sight of what’s important. sad day. hope things change.

    • Jen,

      it seems like the bigger corporations get the more removed they become from our everyday lives…..

      same with politicians; i wonder how many of them really know what life is like for the average individual.

  10. I think it comes down to quantity vs quality. People are more prepared to wait for quality but in a society that emphasizes quantity over quality they don’t. If you have to have lots of money, lots of possessions, lots of friends, lots of admirers, bigger houses to fit more stuff, where is the time for a good lazy chat with a really good friend over really good coffee?

  11. Kurt Vonnegut said that he enjoys waitinf at the postal office line! I am not so much in favour of waiting just to have a nice conversation, I will only take the conversation!

  12. I think not wanting to wait is just natural instinct. In hunter gather days if you waited it would be gone. But ya if we can stop the monkey in us, some things are worth waiting for.

  13. I’ve got the same problem. I absolutely know how you feel. I hate waiting. Eventually I saw the good side of it though! (and nowadays I rather spend 2 hours cooking than gulping down instant noodles or fast food!)

  14. Waiting is like patience. A virtue, but also something that needs to be taught. Waiting isn’t always bad it in the age of instant gratification we are unwittingly taught that it is. Even when I’m in a hurry, I try to slow down and wait, and not have get there first..
    I love my stovetop coffee, will always wait for that. And my kids prefer the popcorn machine than the microwave stuff, and it takes only a minute more. Their issue is is the patience you need to wait.

  15. Old fashion’d roll’d oats.

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