A case for the patient way of life
Did I say patience again? Well yes, I did.
We live in a time where instant gratification is the new default in life. Post industrialisation of commodities, it's now the turn of services that are being offered at an organised convenience like never before. We don't have to cook, we don't have to walk, we don't have to go out, we don't have to tend to anything if we choose not to and can afford it. The point to note is that when we receive all this comfort, the invisible trade off we are making is going out of practice with patience; the simple joy of working towards something. Living in the uber modern era of instant delivery, instant payments and instant cabs, we have come to expect instant success and instant beauty to be as accessible too. People get upset when that doesn't happen. And so to fulfill these impossible demands, supply has come in to encash it. If you'd take to observe the ads and all the marketing coming to you, you'll find enough examples selling the promise of happy utopias at affordable prices with almost next to no effort from your end except for your monies. I say, the onus lies with us when we make the decision to take up on an any such offer. I believe, conscious consumers can be the catalysts in building a conscious economy. I'd also like to add from experience that sustainability is a hard goal right now. It's getting better but it's still hard. If you want to be a conscious customer, find and go for businesses that are honestly trying to be more sustainable. Make the effort to critique any criticism before you settle on making an opinion.
As Anne-Marie Bonneau, The Zero-Waste Chef, says,
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
The same goes for building sustainable ethical businesses IMO.
Coming back, as to why I am asking you to think about instant gratification at your own personal level. We have enough observation showing that in most cases, instant gratification has little to no shelf life. What do you remember of all the social media that you browsed on your mobile today? How long did the joy of shopping for your latest purchase last? Do you even remember what was it? How much food lying in your refrigerator will get thrown away eventually? How much consideration are you willing to give the swiggy delivery guy (another human being) if your order isn't delivered on time? How will watching hours of Netflix go down in the story of your life? So you see, instant gratification doesn't stay, it doesn't show up in the book of life, rather it tends to create more concern in its wake. Basically, this big buffet of instant gratification on a platter is fleeting. It doesn't add upto much memorable goodness that makes for a great life experience. It's a blip at best. Having said that, the vice is not in the facilities, services and pleasures. They can and do make life better in a very desirable way. But so far, this side of it is enjoyed by a very select few who are masters of self control and have the ability to command their impulses rather than being commanded by them. Only you can say, who is the master in your case. I really hope the answer that pops in your mind is - I am. If not, you're still better than not being aware of this at all.
If making things more comfortable and easier had cut it, the chase of good life would have been long over in our high tech world on such a beautiful, resource rich planet. Since that's not the case, then what is, is worth thinking about. I think, we need to accept without resistance that good things can and often do take time. Patience is not a delay but an extremely enjoyable process of changing for better every single day.
Michael Pollan says in the first episode of the mini series Cooked,
"Outsourcing has its values and it certainly makes life easier, but it renders us all into passive consumers. And, I don’t know about you, but to me, that is my least proud identity."
I completely concur with him on that.
Maybe, one day, it'll be a reality to get instant results for everything including our bodies, mind and emotions. But, can that take away from the goodness of slowing down, I guess not. Can that take away the joy of achieving something with hard work? Definitely not. Any lasting joy or satisfaction in life comes from making the effort and doing the work. This ain't mentioned enough in all the success stories that glorify end results disproportionately. And even that success, that final achievement is a by-product in comparison to the constant reward that comes every single second, when making the journey.
I'd say, 'When to not choose the easy way', is a phenomenal foresight for anyone to have. And who do you think will be able to do this? I'd say someone strong who has wisdom and is backed by training. I am on the side of progress, but not when it's the the kind that takes away purpose away from human beings.
With above said, the world is quite robust and doesn't need our worry, we can just play our part at best. So to do that, I love to focus consciously on the good in and around me to multiply it in action and in thought energy. I see...
Slow cooking blooming amidst fast food
Dream to farm blooming amidst the chase for promotions
Zero waste blooming amidst landfills
Home gardens blooming amidst the concrete jungles of cities
The local blooming amidst global
Use again blooming amidst use and throw
Focus on health blooming amidst misguided body & beauty goals
Meditation blooming amidst the 24x7 rush
Thoughtful consumption blooming amidst mindless consumerism
Consciousness blooming amidst dominoes of degeneration