STOP! Where are you going?

So if you don’t even get past the first few sentences of this post, you are what’s wrong with America.

If you didn’t vote today, then don’t ever try to tell me you are a patriot. You are a waste of an American citizen if you are too lazy to take time to vote for the leader of our country. There isn’t a good enough excuse out there. It’s not like the date crept up on you. I don’t care if you think your vote doesn’t count (and yeah I think it should be the nations popular vote, not won on electoral votes); you are telling me you are too good to exercise a right that thousands of men and women have died for. Anyways, moving on to the focus of this post. Most/all of the excuses of not voting reveal one of the biggest problems with us as Americans. Americans lack patience.

Society today is centered around the “now.” Information is a smart device away. You can contact someone instantly via call, text, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, E-mail and if you don’t respond to any of those in 5 minutes, all of sudden you are missing. We have such a hard time looking past now. We lose sight of the big picture. It’s always about “What have you done for me today?” It’s not even lately anymore; it’s the last 24 hours. It’s impossible to teach the values of hard work if you don’t teach patience FIRST. Possibly even before that, goal setting has to be established and we as individuals have to look at the most important things/issues in our own lives (mmmm sounds familiar…you want more on importance go back to my post from January of this year). The American Dream is being able to achieve anything you set your mind to. There are arguments everywhere on how that dream doesn’t exist anymore. The notion of the American Dream being dead is total and smelly bullshit. If you want to make something of yourself, it takes patience!

Perfect example for the fattest country IN THE WORLD. How many commercials are we bombarded with about how quickly you can lose 10, 15, 20, even 25 pounds? They are everywhere. But in a lot of those drastic transformations that were “soooo easy” you see time frames like a month, 2 months, 3 months, etc. Let’s just take the shortest time frame I have seen and the amount of weight you can lose. I’ve seen an advertisement for losing up to 20 lbs in a month. Ok people, step back and look at that for a second. That’s 30 days. If you eat a standard 3 meals a day, that’s 90 meals! 90 times you have to make a conscious effort to eat something better for you during the 28,800 hours you will spend awake (assuming you get 8 hrs a sleep every night), while taking this super pill, sacrificing all those foods and drinks you crave, and mix in some sort of exercise. That’s not easy; it’s just not. And if you wanna hit a weight loss goal higher than that, now you are just doubling and tripling those numbers. But lets say, “Yeah, I’ll do it.”

Day 1- Everything goes great
Day 2- Pretty good
Day 3- Man, my legs are sore but I can do this
Day 4- I need a day off, but at least I ate well today
Day 5 (which is a Friday)- I’ll go to happy hour and have one drink, I’ve earned it
Day 6- Of course I’m not gonna work out; I’m at a tailgate
Day 7- I’ll get back on the bandwagon Monday
Day 8- This sucks, plus someone brought in donuts today
Day 9- I haven’t lost any weight, this isn’t gonna happen

And just like that, you quit. You lost sight of that big picture. That example can be applied to anything. If it was easy, anyone and everyone could do it. If you have worked your butt off to achieve anything, you know that feeling. There isn’t anything like it. Yet, it seems like I hear more and more of “why isn’t this being done for me?” and the blame game is always the first to be played. The American Dream exists. But you can’t get it motionless in a Lazyboy. You have to grab it and not let go. You will have to hold on when it’s not popular, when it’s an inconvenience to you, when you are tired, when you are broke, when you are sick, when life kicks you right between the legs, when you are heart-broken, when the world has turned its back on you, and even then you are gonna have it ripped out of your hands and you will have to fight for it again. Keeping that dream is going to take tons of patience.

Patience gives you the opportunity to reflect on the big picture. It reminds you of where you are going and what is important to you. It gives you a chance to enjoy the now. Because when you are finally done painting that big picture, you will know at certain moments when it got tough and you wouldn’t stop. But things will get tough and there will be things out of your control. The Serenity Prayer is the perfect example of what patience is:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking…this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

Part of being patient is accepting there are some thing you cannot change; no matter how hard you try and how badly you want them to change. It’s extremely difficult sometimes to not be able to realize what can and cannot be changed. But there is a way to start seeing those things; by being patient. That patience brings experiences which will lead to that wisdom mentioned in the prayer. Being patient is difficult, but is worth it. It prevents you (most of the time) from doing something regrettable. Instead of being consumed and making emotional-charged decisions, you can take a step back and see everything.

Whatever the result is of this election, you complaining about it isn’t going to change it. If your guy wins, then ya be happy. If he doesn’t, then be upset. But the fact still remains, the result will still be unchanged when you get up tomorrow. And if it bothers you still, give it another day. If it still bothers you, wait a little longer. If it hasn’t gone away a month from now, then maybe it’s become something worth fighting for and you should start doing something about it. Odds are if you remain patient, it will go away. Even after 6 months, if it still remains, it’s quite possible you have stumbled across your new American Dream and it’s time for you to seize it. If it’s not, then ask for “the serenity to accept the things [you] cannot change; courage to change the things [you] can; and wisdom to know the difference.” If you don’t want the courage to change things, then shut up and quit complaining. Slow down and remember where you want to go. Keep that in mind and that patience will drive you wherever your dreams may be, no matter how uncertain that road is.

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