Is there a Limit to Impatience?

By Shlomo  Maital  


  Ah, the younger generation.  The kids.  We older people all know,  the kids want it NOW!  They are impatient and they have very short attention spans.  The MTV generation loves super-fast images, that for us seniors are blurry and annoying.

 But hey!  This time they have gone too far.  It’s time to draw a line in the sand.

  Today’s New York Times (March 3) reports that John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter, tennis greats of the past, played an exhibition match in Australia.  Rafter won.  4-3, 4-1. 

   Wait. Run that by me again?  4-3, 4-1?   Don’t tennis matches go to six sets?  Always have, for over a century?  And at Wimbledon, they can go to 17 sets, or more? 

    Well, no.  “It’s whatever the crowd wants, what TV wants,” Rafter said.  “If this is what the fans want, this is what we should be playing.”

    Four-set matches mean a match can be finished in an hour and 45 minutes, ideal for TV. And of course, TV dominates sport, because TV brings the money.

   Actually, it’s a great idea. Let’s shorten everything.  Let’s shorten prison sentences by half.  Let’s cut the 12-month year to 10 months (at the same pay).   Uh, let’s shorten life by a decade or so, those last 10 years are a bummer anyway, and the working youth (if there are any) can’t afford to support all those old guys. 

   The “me” generation is actually the “now” generation.  Watch the Australian Fast4 format spread like wildfire to all aspects of life.  With the future looking so bleak for so many, why not just live for the moment?  

    We seniors have an answer.  Cultivate patience.   Give value to the future because, somehow, the future does arrive, and when it does, it helps if we can work now to make it better, more desirable.  “I want it now” is a losing formula.  “I want  a better future” is a whole lot more appealing.  We should try it some day.