In my opinion, people have become really impatient over the past decade. We live in a world where information can be found in seconds via the Internet, text, social media, or even by calling someone’s mobile phone. Have you noticed most of your friends send you messages via Facebook instead of using your e-mail address or calling you? God forbid they should have to stop playing Farmville to communicate with you.
Personally, I think it started years before with the highway system in the United States. No matter how high the speed limit, it never seems to be fast enough. How can it be that in a 65 miles per hour speed zone where I’m chugging along at 80 miles per hour that other drivers are still zipping around me? Where can they possibly be going that requires a near attempt at breaking the sound barrier? I could understand if someone is in labor with a baby’s legs hanging out doing flutter kicks, but all those men behind the wheel can’t be pregnant.
I went with 2Fs to celebrate Mother’s Day with his family, since my mom is 800 miles away in Texas and, most likely, either at Zumba or belly dancing class right now. Jeff’s family decided to unofficially adopt me several years ago, so I always sign my cards from: YOUR FAVORITE ADOPTED SON.
On the way down to his older sister’s house, 2Fs told me that when he was living in London during his work exchange program in college in 1980, he decided to cook a traditional Southern meal for his British friends, so he mailed his mother a letter to ask for the recipes.
““You’re kidding me!” I said. “How long did it take?”
““About seven days.”
““Seven days! God created the world in that same amount of time and all you were trying to do is get your mother’s recipe for fried chicken.”
Nowadays, mom would send you a link to her YouTube channel where she’s uploaded a short clip of her making the dang recipe. Who has the patience to wait seven days–well, really fourteen days, since you have to send your letter, then wait for a reply.
It reminded me of when I used to order British twelve inch singles from a mail order company in Illinois. I’d look through their catalog, fill out the form, and send my order off with a cashier’s cehck for the cost of the records, plus shipping and handling. It would sometimes take weeks to receive my records. Today, we go to the artist’s website, where we can listen to the song and watch the music video. If we like it, we can click on the iTunes icon and download it without paying shipping and handling. Who has the patience to wait weeks, anymore?
All of this has combined to make most people very impatient listeners. We want others to get to the point before we feel the overwhelming urge to disengage and check our e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter feed. It got me wondering how to get someone’s attention once I’ve lost it.
Jeff’s mother told an interesting story this evening about their pastor, who has a reputation for sermons that go on a tad too long. When he sees the congregation drifting off, he usually does something unexpected to get their attention. A few Sundays ago, evidently he pulled out a replica of a hand grenade from the podium and hurled down the main aisle of the church. Once he had everyone’s attention, he finished the sermon. What a brilliant idea! I can wait to try that out.