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Patience. There is no hurry.

There are many human traits that smack of weakness and lessen our ability to achieve things we might otherwise find easily along the road. The lack of patience is one of the strongest of these weaknesses. We are always in a hurry. We want it now. As technology advances, we are further weakened by increased convenience. Things are easily sought and found. Once we rushed to the theatre to see the latest films and later hope to see them again on television. Now we buy them on video and DVD and watch them whenever we please. This sense of convenience that invades our essence makes us forget that all things are not quite as easily or as quickly attained.

The gods of convenience can't even play checkers on the playing field of eternity. They aren't able to comprehend the rules.

I see them every day. They are the people who rush to the red light. They are always driving down the road as fast as they can, swerving in and out of traffic in order to be the first to get to that red light. Most of the time they are the ones who are the slowest off the clutch when the light turns green. It doesn't make much sense. Or, maybe, it does.

And where exactly do you think you are going?

Sometimes I wonder where these people are going. Most of the time this is just part of their usual lifestyle. Jump in the car and get where they are going as fast as they can, by the most direct route, inconvenienced by the length of the trip. They don't enjoy the ride. They don't even like the ride. They just want to get to where they are going. Their anger and stress levels are peaking along the way. They never take a moment to pause.

I find myself timing the journey between red lights. When I time it correctly, all I see is green. The red light is always in the distance. When I arrive it is always green. The way I drive is the way I live my life. I'm not in a hurry to get to a red light. I'll wait for the green. There is plenty of time. Forever gives me plenty of time not to worry about how fast I'm travelling.

The trick, if you can call it that, is to draw something from every moment. There isn't a moment that passes that something does not arise from. Somewhere someone has passed on from this life to their next. Somewhere a new life has arrived here. Somewhere people are falling in love. Somewhere there is an idea that is surfacing. A flower blooms. Light touches the dark corner of a room. Life continues whether you hurry through it or not. It is your weakness that you fail to appreciate the moments. The gods of convenience want you to hurry. The faster you go, the more gratification you need, and that is what the gods of convenience are selling. Instant gratification.

Those who have bought into the "this is the only life you'll ever have, get everything out of it you get" philosophy will always rush to the red light. They are measuring decades. You can't measure eternity. Eternity is a bitch who won't let you even measure her curves. When you make love to eternity, you'll have to take your time. She doesn't give it up that easily.

You need to balance your confidence with humility or you won't make it far. I tell you this only to remind you of what you already know.

The signs and the signals are all over the place, but you won't see them if you are in a rush to get from point A to point B. You'll only see two points and the distance between them. What really matters sits in the space between, the space you are blitzing through as fast as you can. You've missed the point. You've rushed to the red light and now you wait. And you still aren't paying attention.

Hey, angel, don't you try to deal me out of this hand. I've still got cards I haven't shown.

We're aware of every card you're holding.

You can't play every hand, the best gamblers will tell you to know when to fold 'em. They are usually right. Expedience isn't always the answer. Moving as rapidly as you can through the roads of life won't always get you where you need to go. You'll miss that little turn off by the river. You might never see the water. You might never know how thirsty you really are.

If you do not taste it, you do not know it.

And yet, we do not taste things. We rely on the same familiar paths and the same familiar tastes. We advertise ourselves as daredevils, but we continue to follow the same patterns because we know and understand them. We never step outside the door. We don't drink the blue wine because we have learned that red and white wine are the colors we should choose. We're handcuffing ourselves to the bedpost and welcoming the familiar hands of a stranger we pretend to know.

If we move so fast, how do we ever come to really know everything. We are here one minute and there the next. So cold, so detached. We give love almost as quickly as we take it away. We push the accelerator with far more passion than the brake, and yet the brake shows far more wear.

How convenient is your frustration anyway? Keep going through the drive-up window instead of going in. You are saving time, but what are you investing it in?

The most difficult bridge to cross may be that life will go on with or without you. Watch how quickly the clock fails to stop when the rich, famous and powerful pass on. There is a mention, perhaps a memorial, but life continues on. You are nothing in the scheme of things, but you are everything in your own scheme of things. This is why your scheme is more important than the grandiose self-importance of the collective reality. Find your own world and travel it. Take care along the road. You will find what you need, but be patient. Nothing is what it seems and everything blossoms in its own time.

And if you hurry your way towards your goals you will never know what those goals mean. In the end.

Forward

In a more literal sense, rushing toward red lights isn't a good idea for several reasons. The mechanical effects listed are due to the increased frequency of acceleration/deceleration involved in agressive driving:

Add to these the increased risk of accident and/or traffic fines and you will probably decide that it's not that important to be first in line. If that isn't enough consider the following:

  • As you will be first to take off, you have more chance being hit by anyone who might be running the red light.
  • You have more chance of mowing down any pedestrians who might be strolling across the road.
  • The earlier you get to the lights, the longer you'll have to wait to go. As you are already in a hurry you'll just get frustrated, leading to even more agressive driving. This of course equals more waiting and more frustration. The process will repeat until one of three things happen:
  1. You arrive safely at your destination.
  2. Road rage.
  3. You crash and die.
Only one of these outcomes is good. No one wants to see the other two. Play it cool.

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