Patience v. Impatience: And the Winner is?

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
11 min readMay 1, 2020
Patience v. Impatience: And the Winner is?

We’ve learned from experience we can get whatever we want quickly. Life’s not the same as it was in the 20th-century. If we wanted something then, we had to physically go out and buy it or wait a week for it to arrive in the post. Today, we can get what we want within the same day in most cases. It’s hard to have patience — or easy to be impatient — in this type of environment; it’s really an after thought.

We want what we want, and we want it now!

Consider the Stanford “marshmallow experiment,” it was a study on delayed gratification in 1972 led by psychologist Walter Mischel, a professor at Stanford University. The participants consisted of 50 children (25 boys and 25 girls). They ranged in age from 3 years 6 months to 5 years 6 months. In the study, a child was offered a choice between one small but immediate reward, or two small rewards if they waited for a period of time. During this time, the researcher left the room for about 15 minutes and then returned. The reward was either a marshmallow or pretzel stick, depending on the child’s preference.

When the original participants were revisited, scientists discovered those who had been able to put off gratification in favor of a superior reward as 4-year-olds had grown up to be more patient adults. “They also had higher SAT scores, lower body mass indexes, and a slightly lower divorce rate,” says BJ Casey, Ph.D., the director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in New York City.

So we see a difference between those who are patient and those who are impatient. There’s a considerable difference between the two groups with positive results for the group who practiced patience. As for being impatient?

Is patience becoming obsolete?

In the 21st century, technology has made patience almost obsolete. When everything is at your finger tips are you really surprised? Your mobile devices gives you just about all the information you will every need as quickly as you can search for it.

If you need the latest news, just a few keystrokes will give you the news from the UK. You can find out what’s going on in America. You can find out what’s going on in China. You need the…

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A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer