THE BLOG

We Have Lost Our Patience as a Society

Nov 08, 2012 | Updated Jan 08, 2013

The technology available to us today is astounding, to say the least. We connect with each other instantly in real-time even if we are thousands of miles away. Not just on a landline -- hardly anyone has one of those any longer. No, we can be climbing Mt. McKinley, cruising the Caribbean, or be at 36,000 feet above the earth in an airplane. We can look up any question we have, fact check the person you are having a conversation with on the Internet via smart phones instantly.

Having this capability has made us instant gratification junkies. We need answers from everyone immediately! It's everywhere we turn, in the news, our need to know seconds after an event happens. Libya, for example, a sensitive issue where having every detail correct before we act, is essential. It could be a matter of national security. Waiting until all the information is gathered, analyzed and then appropriate steps are taken does not cut it with our instant gratification society. Has anyone thought that maybe laying all our cards on the table with issues in the Middle East a bad move? It's tantamount to the infamous Geraldo Rivera drawing a location map in the sand some years ago. Is it so hard to fathom maybe Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on 9/11 because there was a meeting with an informant passing intel? It could be anything, things we would not want to put out to the world. Believe it or not, they may be terrorists and dwell in caves, but they have sophisticated technology.

Our instant gratification addiction has made us lose our logical perspective on the normal course of many things. Not just our need to know everything at every minute, our need for things to happen faster than their natural course. We all know that children do not become adults in five or 10 years. It takes 18, 21, sometimes to their parent's frustration even longer. So why are we expecting our economy to be fixed in three years?

Does everyone realize we were days away from another Great Depression in 2008? It was not weeks or months it was days. Don't take my word for it, look it up. (Please use a credible source when you do.) I think it's time for a short history lesson many of us have forgotten. When the Great Depression did happen in October of 1929 the warning came the month before in September. It had begun as an ordinary recession the summer of 1929 and took a turn for disaster in October. There was no improvement in the economy in fact it became worse until the second quarter of 1933. That is almost four years later! At the time of the Great Depression Herbert Hoover was president. Mr. Hoover was a Republican. Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in 1933 and he worked diligently to turn the country around. It took until 1938, for the economy to start moving forward at a significant pace. There were several downturns, and stalls during this time. The point is that the time frame is nine years! It took FDR nine years of non-stop efforts to make progress.

My question is: Why don't we understand that there is no instant gratification on our current situation? Anyone who tells you there is an instant fix to our current situation is simply lying. They skipped history and economics in college. The president said four years ago it would not be a quick fix, but it would take some time. He was right. The state our economy was in four years ago is nothing like any recession we have had before. All recessions are compared to the Great Depression to assess the severity. The closest we have come is 1981-1982; even then, the unemployment rate was never above 10 percent.

We cannot blame the president for the economy not progressing faster; we can blame the Republican leadership in the Congress and Senate. The day after the president was elected they came out publicly and declared they would stand against anything the President proposed. Moreover, they have kept this promise to the detriment of the country and their own political gain. They became the party of no. The excuse is given there was a democratic majority in the first two years, this is true but there is a little thing called the filibuster that allows one person to stop a bill. It happened just before the last session ended when one person filibustered the Veterans' Jobs Bill. Remember the president does not get to pass laws, the Congress and the Senate are responsible for the passage of bills. I suspect many people who voted Republican in 2010 now have buyer's remorse. The Republicans promised jobs, jobs, jobs to win and now have the majority. Where are the jobs they promised? I have seen nothing but the promise to repeal the health care this country desperately needs and bills put forth controlling women's choices. It is no one's job to force his or her opinions on everyone. We all have the right to make our own choices. I finally understand what a Republican means by 'small government.' It means it has to be able to fit inside a woman's uterus. This nonsense is what we should be losing out patience with; the lies and the broken promises. We should be angry they are using a shell game to draw our attention away from the real issues of jobs, health care and equality for everyone. The election is now over and thanks to redistricting the Republicans still have the majority in the Congress. We cannot allow Republicans to continue to say no any longer, we need to insist on yes to keep our recovery from stalling.

We have lost our patience as a society about the wrong things. Instant access to information is an absolute necessity in today's world. But it has its limits. We first have to admit we have a problem. Put down the smart phone, the iPad, take a deep breath and step back. Realize it took as many years to create this financial crisis we are in as it did to develop the technology that caused our addiction. It is not alright to lose our patience when it comes to rebuilding our economy and our country. Our future depends on our patience and our participation. Participation from everyone in this country. We are a nation of people who care about our fellow citizens. One person does make a difference. It takes very little effort, we can all do it if we try. It's easy: Start with patience and take the next step to participation you will be amazed where it takes you!