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So these last days I had some observations, again. And today I am able to get myself to write something, so let´s talk about it.
One of the biggest problems that our current society seems to struggle with is an non-existent tolerance for frustration. Some people call it patience, but there is a difference, as when things go wrong again and again Patience is nice, but a tolerance for Frustration will carry you through.
I work with young adults at work (18-25 years) and almost none of them demonstrates either of these qualities. Why is that?
There is a German saying: “Gut Ding will Weile haben.” Another one is: “Wer warten kann, der wird belohnt.” The first one translates as: Something good takes its´ time; the other one: Good things come to the one, who can wait.” These sayings were true for thousands of years and still are, but why does n one want to wait anymore?
These days people are frustrated when things don´t get a fast reply, a fast delivery or even simply fast internet. Waiting in line in the supermarkert rarely takes more than 3- 5 minutes, but people moan like their most-loved uncle just died.
One of the reasons is surely the internet and the mobile access to it. The main words here being: Instant Gratifikation. We are so used that everything can be resolved at a whim and in a short timespan, that everything that takes longer is considered unbearable. I see that myself, I get angry/worried when my package is not in my hands two days after I ordered it. Or just right now, when my typed letters do not appear instantly on the screen, because my connection has a speed bump. I don´t like it and I am not deep into the anti-frustration spiral. As someone without a smartphone, who checks his mail maybe twice a day and with no social media presence besides this one here, I am not embedded in this circle of instant returns. When I write an SMS I expect an answer – mostly the same day, sometimes later, but I don´t expect it the minute I write it. Still we have unlearned how to wait and work for something. Two good examples I have at hand:
First Surprise eggs (I donßt know if they are sold under this name outside of germany). Überraschungseier:
Nicely called Ü-Eier in German they are small chocolate eggs with a gimmick inside, a toy, something collectible etc. The old slogan of the eggs was: In jedem siebten Ei!; in every seventh egg! Meaning that in every seventh egg there should be one of the current special collectibles. That was some kind of work back then to get these, I tell you!
These days you get boxes of four eggs, with guaranteed two collectibles of the current line. Wow, how lame is that? Why work or put some effort into it, just instantly get what you want. Great, teach everyone that effort is not neccessary, just some more money.
The other one is politics, everybodies favourite topic, I know. New parties hardly have a chance these day in Germany. This year a lot of elections are happening throughout the country and one trend is clear the parties who last period got something between 6-12 percent and so had the first time the chance to work in a oppositional position in the parlaments, all lost most of their votes, because they didn´t accomplisch much to nothing. Wow, how could they? With a few seats in the opposition you can´t make politics that affect everyone, yet. But no one wants to give tham a second try, because they obviously failed. That is totally untrue actually, as they mostly had no chance yet to do what tehy actually wanted and promised. But without instant gratification the voters don´t stick to the voted.
I guess I am not the only one who sees some problems stemming from that in the future? Am I?
Here is the experiment for next week. See how well developed your own tolerance for Frustration is? When something does not work out directly, how patient are you? When was the last time you really put effort into something, that would pay off later?
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