Patience is a virtue, but not always.
You see, there are just some times when quickness is hailed supreme, especially when considering decision making. A person who is able to make decisions at a lightning-quick pace is usually praised; someone who not only makes tough decisions, but makes them fast, and makes them with confidence. These traits usually go hand in hand with the business profession, and as the US and the world is constantly becoming more and more “business-esque,” then these traits also become valued by most of society. Let’s face it, when it comes to practicality, there’s nothing better than a person who is swift to decide and decides with confidence.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton
There is alot of truth to these words. Getting things done requires the ability to assess the situation, come up with ideas, and put them into action. Getting things done efficiently though requires all these things to be done easily and quickly. And efficiency is something that goes hand in hand with practicality. The more efficient someone is, the more they can do with less energy.
The ability to make quick decisions may not be so advantageous however in some realms of thought.
Patience is indeed a virtue, and some decisions need to be toyed around with for awhile. For example, when a doctor has seen that something is not going to be life-threatening, then it will work to his favor to take a little bit of time to diagnosis the problem. With all the possible combinations of symptom to problem it becomes easy to make a wrong decision by going on first thought. And wrong decisions can cost lots of money in the medical field.
Secondly, deciding what you would like to do with your life is something that does, and should, take plenty of time. It takes self-questioning, self-searching, and also outward looking upon possible options, and possible paths. It’s just something that should not be rushed. Deciding what to do with your life helps to shape who you will become in the future.
In essence, it takes a rational being to be able to look at a situation and decide the proper action for it. The philosopher John Dewey held the idea that an when an anamoly presented itself, certain steps are taken to rationalize it. These five steps included “a felt difficulty, its location and definition, suggestion of possible solution, development by reason of the bearings of the suggestion, and further observation and experiment leading to its acceptance or rejection; that is, the conclusion of belief or disbelief.” (1) An individual, according to Dewey, looks at a situation and determines the amount of time that is needed on each particular step:
“The disciplined, or logically trained, mind–the aim of the educative process–is the mind able to judge how far each of these steps needs to be carried in any particular situation. No cast-iron rules can be laid down. Each case has to be dealt with as it arises, on the basis of its importance and of the context in which it occurs. To take too much pains in one case is foolish–as illogical–as to take too little time in another. At one extreme, almost any conclusion that insures prompt and unified action may be better than any long delayed conclusion; while at the other, decision may have to be postponed for a long period–perhaps for a lifetime. The trained mind is the one that best grasps the degree of observation, forming of ideas, reasoning, and experimental testing required in any special case, and that profits the most, in future thinking, by mistakes made in the past. What is important is that the mind should be sensitive to problems and skilled in methods of attack and solution.” – “How We Think” by John Dewey, part 2 chapter six, 1910.
There is a personal relationship between the person and decision itself. He must be able to see what it will take to make the decision go the best route.
There is an anamoly, however, that can be safely said to be one that requires a lifetime of analysis. That is the anamoly of the self, of finding and trying to decide who we are as a person. To bring light to this fact has two reasons. One, because it is the greatest endeavor each of us can strive for. Two, because there seems to be alot of pressure to choose not only from set and concrete belief systems, but also to have chosen this system from an early age. This is a false dogma. Who we choose to be is something that is a long, drawn out process, that not is confident, but is filled with doubt.
There is a literal buffet of idealogies, philosophies, religions, and belief systems that are there to be chosen from birth. Each of these carry an ethical system, an idea of how the universe has come to be along with other things. Each brings a burden of which a person must shape themselves to fit the mold of that system.
Why must this search be one that is tedious and at times complex? It is because as humans at times we are complex ourselves, and foregoing the long route in favor of a short one because it looks good at the moment could possibly hinder who could be down the road. Secondly, it is because the exploration of a belief system requires a large amount of time, and the word “explore” implies no destination, merely checking out the scenery. Thirdly, because it is important that one has an inkling of an idea toward the reasons for a certain belief. This is because is personalizes a person with their belief, it becomes something “about them.”
One must not be in a hurry to claim oneself as Christian, as a Jew, as a Muslim, or Atheist just as one should not be in a hurry to claim oneself as a Republican or Democrat. It takes a knowledge of the issues and and a belief towards them not only on one side, but on the other as well. It also takes a knowledge of the reason for upholding that particular belief.
So time must be taken, and why not? We can afford to take our time in these matters, while in something like an important business decision we cannot. We can take our time because in the meantime we are living the day-to-day, and living only adds to the experiment of life itself, and the more experimentation, the more accurate the conclusion.