I am often perplexed every time I jump in to join the queue at my local shopping center to purchase some new sets of clothing. I find it somewhat odd to encounter individuals standing in the very same line appearing as if they’re about to undergo a severe traumatic ordeal. As I waited to checkout, I noticed a lady rolling her eyes in disgust, a man deliberately tapping his foot to the rhythm of a seconds hand on a clock, two friends murmuring their grievances to one another, and if that wasn’t enough, I heard hissing. All of which occurred as I watched the unfortunate cashier attendant undergo constant interrogation from her supervisor to the tune of “have you acknowledged the line?” Hissing? Seriously, hissing while waiting to be rung up for a pair of skinny jeans?
Perhaps this is an all too common occurrence in shopping centers, stores, and malls across America of patience running incredibly thin. It seems that in this fast-paced society with tag lines such as “high speed,” “instant access,” and “no waits no hassles”, the very thought of waiting a few minutes has proven to be traumatic and rather taxing on our human abilities. No longer is the saying “patience as a virtue,” relevant. Instead, a society that is focused on the “me” and the “now” takes precedence. But if there is anything to learn from this shift in social values, patience and the ability to endure are still significant societal standards to uphold.
We are all saddened by the recent events of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan that led to the unimaginable loss of life and destruction.
Yet, in the midst of all the chaos and anguish that has plagued the country; we can’t help but to be inspired by the enduring spirit of the Japanese people. As the death toll rose and the search began for the injured and missing, people waited in lines throughout the day and night. The wait to hear from and be united with missing loved ones, the lines into the hospitals to find the injured or receive the bodies of the dead, and the queues to obtain emergency rations and medical supplies. These have all been truly traumatic experiences. But in these trying times, the people demonstrated a strong sense of perseverance as well as what it means to endure, to have true patience. Long lines were orderly, calm, and without contempt towards rescue workers and officials. In the face of such human tragedy people lined up and waited, and waited patiently for however long it took.
In the light of a disaster such as this, it would seem that our inability to line up, without malice, in order to purchase leisured merchandise at the mall as rather trivial and petty in the vast scheme of things. We should all make an effort to instill the value of patience in today’s society, especially in a time when the shopping mall is quickly replacing the notion of what public space is. My parents never gave me anything for complaining, and definitely not for hissing. As the famous proverb goes “all good things come to those who wait”… in line that is.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief copy-editor: Natalie Cappetta
Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino