Impatience.

பொறுத்தார் பூமி ஆளுவார்.
That is a Thamizh adage transliterated as Poruthaar boomi aaluvaar.

It means that the one who is patient will rule the world.

I belong to a generation of Indians on whom patience was thrust upon. We simply had no choice in the matter. We had to wait in queues for just about everything. I distinctly remember waiting in a queue to purchase a token plate which would enable me to buy a limited quantity of pasturised milk once a day. If one did not have that, one had to compromise with adulterated milk supplied by a monopoly of milkmen. I also remember having booked for an HMT wrist watch and waiting for six months before it was delivered to me. People had to wait for years to get landline telephone connections and to purchase motorcycles and scooters besides cars. The less said the better about queues for booking railway and bus tickets and the planning that had to be undertaken months in advance to reserve tickets for both train and air travel. Such lives taught us patience and also value for things bought at considerable sacrifice.

The present day generation does not believe us oldies when we talk about those days. It cannot visualise those hard times at all because it is now a generation totally used to and demanding instant gratification. In other words, impatient for results. Gone are the days of plodding with the same employer for a life time of employment and retirement. It is rare nowadays to see some youngsters working in the same organisation for more than a few years!

Impatience, resulting in the desperate need for instant gratification, also results in debt of unmanageable proportions leading to stress at young age. In our times, we could not get loans to finance homes and durables, whereas now lenders are chasing prospective buyers with attractive schemes and instalment payment plans to trap them into the instant gratification trap and stress. Such lures even cover vacations!

The attitudes developed on the basis of such impatience manifests in almost all walks of life including the way the young drive nowadays. To state the obvious, such a value system also affects relationships and the way they are broken and new ones started clearly is indicative of a vastly different value system than the one that I grew up in,

Do I envy these young people? To be brutally honest, yes, to an extent, That extent is that things are now available. I will still not buy anything on hire-purchase and the three credit card issuers that I deal with must be very unhappy with me because, I use them more as a convenience than to repay on instalments. I do not envy their lifestyles and stress at all. I am willing to be patient.

Pravin has suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

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