Impatience is not a healthy trait

Whether it be the news of the day or a rush to do something, one thing I have learned in my fifty-five years is impatience is not healthy. Unfortunately, we all seem to be impatient to some degree, especially with our bent for news via Twitter or Text, or mission critical need to have the newest thing first. Many of the bad decisions in my life could be traced in some way to impatience, whether it was a car accident or making too quick a judgment on something.

I was thinking about this topic with the pace and shallowness of news reporting and analysis by people who should know better. Since an analysis of our real problems is more complicated than the average attention span would warrant, we forego such analysis and report on easier grasping topics. This is one reason why we see so much news discussion around the game of politics rather than the issues. Who wins or loses over a topic is more newsworthy than the actual issue. We focus on how someone’s speech went rather than the underlying issue that is of concern.

How did Governor Christie do in his press conference? Was he convincing? My main concern would be did he do what they said he did? Or, did he create an environment in which such behavior was tolerated, if not rewarded? Did the Presidents’ speech on the NSA seem compelling? My concern is we would not be having that speech had it not been for Edward Snowden, irrespective of how one feels about him. To say otherwise, would be a stretch in my mind.

I have been reading several analyses on whether Obamacare is a failure or success. It is far too early to tell, so anyone saying it is successful or a failure is being impatient and in some respects, disingenuous. Part of the issue is the “failure” crowd is banging on the drum loudly to try to precipitate its failure, which I personally find inappropriate and offensive. The poor roll out did not help matters, but it seems those problems are more behind than in front. So, let’s see how it will do to accomplish the great need we have for our uninsureds and remedy our highest costing healthcare system on the planet which has bought us a 38th in the world healthcare quality ranking. At this point, I predict two things – it will continue to build an audience and it will continue to be a lightning rod for the naysayers, as it is not perfect.

Let me close with one final point. We have started the 2016 Presidential campaign way too early. There were some who started doing articles last January before the inauguration. With the win/ lose news coverage being the focal point, we have people who rise to the top of the wave, but then fall back. Yet, it really does not matter in January, 2014 who is running as there will likely be an issue that intervenes on that person’s candidacy. A potential candidate’s best bet is not to declare anything and stay beneath this superficial coverage until he/ she is ready and time forces a decision.

So, try to be a little more patient. When you see a news story that declares victory before the game is over (or even starts), have a healthy dose of skepticism. And, one final piece of advice that I have shared before. Be judicious with your news sources. I would strongly urge you to not get your news from extreme points of view from either side of the spectrum, as what you will be getting is a spin on the news. Remember, our issues are complex. It takes patience to understand them. So, it is better to glean your news from those who have patience and due diligence.


15 thoughts on “Impatience is not a healthy trait

  1. I like that you applied this to news and sources, but I need to be more patient as a parent! I’ve had a tough couple of days and exercising some patience would’ve made things better. Here is to better (and more patient) days ahead!

    • Emily, thanks. Sometimes it is hard for a parent, especially when we see a failure coming before the child does. I must confess, as I checked to see if anyone had read this post, I realized I was being impatient and got a chuckle. So, as I said we are all impatient. Thanks again, BTG

  2. Politics as sports. How true.

    Obamacare will be a success or a failure depending upon who is using it or not using it. I already have spoken with someone who mentioned that she had access to a new insurance policy only because of recent laws regarding pre-existing conditions. She is not using a policy from the exchange, but she would not have been able to secure ANY insurance had her recent medical catastrophe hit her a year earlier. Another friend says she has benefited from a newly available supplementary insurance for medicare recipients. Of course, many young people are going to cry because they feel they don’t need and so shouldn’t have to purchase health insurance. But we purchase home insurance, car insurance, rental insurance, all with the hope of never having to use them but not being willing to risk the ramifications of not having them.

    You are right. There will be problems associated with Obamacare. ALWAYS. There are always problems with programs that serve the public. Glitches happen, unforeseen ramifications crop up, it happens all the time. That doesn’t mean the entire concept is bad. Instead of whining and moaning about problems as they arise, we should be working to fix them when they come to light. But let’s face it. Politics is a game. There is a huge segment of the population that WANTS anything Obama touches to fail. That is the only way they can conceive of winning the game.

    Oh crap. What a rant. Sorry. I’m preaching to the choir.

    • Rant on. I wrote a post earlier about each person needing to determine his or her own risk/ cost trade off for whether to buy healthcare insurance. As a parent, my college adult children are on my policy (and would be if they were out and did not have access to coverage). Insurance is there to keep you from being bankrupt when an event occurs. So, for someone to advise a young person not to consider insurance because they don’t need it, without knowing their facts, is irresponsible. To do it for political reasons is unethical. I shared with Barney how I felt sorry for the guy who sold his restaurant to pay for the cancer care of his waitress. While meritorious, he probably feels foolish that all she needed to do was sign up for ACA coverage and he could have kept his restaurant and paid her premiums. Never hesitate to get on a soapbox, even when you disagree with what I wrote.

  3. I agree with the statement that many of life’s decisions can be traced in some way to impatience. Then again, paralysis by analysis is no good either. This blog reminds me of an election campaign we had back in 2007 which saw the rise of the political blogger. There was one high profile blog which was born out of a story criticising the main stream press for concentrating on the politics rather then the issues in exactly the same way as you describe. I totally agree that one should be discerning about their news sources. To me, there is room for deep analysis and not so deep as long as it is on the issues. I think the bigger issue is to get your news from a variety of sources so you receive a mix of perspectives to enable you to decide your own.

    • Judy, thanks. You are well versed. I am not recommending paralysis by analysis either, but we do need deeper dives as you note on issues. Sometimes the best decisions are delayed by trying to confirm seventeen facts, when after you know the four biggest ones, you can move. I have two good examples with banks I am familiar with as clients. One would err on too little information and invariably be first out with something and mess it up. The other would analyze something six ways since Sunday and be very late to the market and sometimes miss out. The answer is in between the two and depending on the issue and complexity, would be weighted more toward the former or latter approach. Your opinions are always valued. Thanks, BTG

  4. patience….ah….my favorite word! seems I am continually learning about patience. but I guess I’ve never thought of the lack of patience in our media and you are spot on with your analyses. I had noticed at the onset of cell phones, or maybe it was the fax machines the “gotta have it now” mentality increasing and I hated it. my daughter begs me to text and never fails to point out how “out of it” I am for not texting. sorry, but I will NOT learn to type on a teeny tiny keyboard. nope, not gonna do it!! besides, if it’s THAT important just call me? geesh, thought that was what cell phones were supposed to be for. yea, what do I know anyway? last comment I will make on patience, a huge lesson I learned my first winter here in the great white north: I was in a hurry to get my car in the garage and get into the house. alas, didn’t realize there was ICE under that snow. you guessed it, I slipped on that ice and broke my elbow in three places. yes, my initiation into Minnesota winters was brutal. OUCH!! I don’t recommend it.

    • Ouch indeed. I also had a broken elbow from playing league basketball – two old guys who could not get out of each other’s way. I agree on the start of the “gotta have it now” mentality tracing back to the fax machine. I do text, but don’t tweet. With college kids, it is the surest way to communicate. Thanks for your comments, and your patience, BTG

  5. I think perhaps the 24 hour news cycle and entertainment-as-news trend is due in part to our very limited attention spans. Perhaps one contributes to other. My patience has worn thin on the whole affair:)

  6. Politics and media are becoming caricatures of what they once were, and it is completely disheartening.

    I don’t know how Obamacare will play out. My premiums went up a bit and benefits went down some, but the coverage is still outstanding for the price, and I can keep my two college age kids on the plan until they’re 26, which is really good. I definitely don’t mind paying a bit more if the plan works as it is intended.

    Like you, I am always skeptical about extreme points of view. Very few things (and people) in this world can be branded as all good or all bad. Caveat emptor.

    • Good comments. The two keys to Obamacare are the guaranteed issue for people with pre-existing conditions and the subsidies for those in need (up to $94K for a family of four, e.g.). Definitely caveat emptor on all acquisitions of information and products.

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