My uncle and I never watched sporting events together due to the simple fact that he never enjoyed football. Whenever he catches me watching a football game on TV he always tries to change the channel to a basketball game, convincing me to watch it because “there’s more action in basketball than football.” At the end of the day, he is in fact telling the truth. The hardcourt does have more action and adrenaline than the pitch does. A basketball game sees scores shooting around every fifteen seconds or so, while a football game usually takes around fifteen minutes before the the ball actually gets past a goalkeeper. My uncle has always told me he could never comprehend how much patience I have sitting in suspense when I could get high with excitement watching a basketball game. Just like most of the Filipino population, my uncle loves basketball because of it’s fast-paced nature. In his own words, “may aksyon agad sa basketball!” This is how I get reminded everyday of how impatient Filipinos are.
It’s something I won’t put much ado in saying. Filipinos are indeed impatient. We hate processes and love instant results, and this mentality extends to everything we do in life. We counterflow and overtake just to get ahead of traffic. We seek out connections to escape long lines in government offices. We hate reading long blocks of text and love resorting to questions when the answers are right in our fingertips. We elect candidates who promise short-term results and get impatient with leaders who engage with the long term. We love basketball due to it’s adrenaline-packed nature, unlike nearly all of our ASEAN neighbors who love the slower, suspense-filled football.
As much as our impatience shows us the easy way out, it usually just creates more trouble. Traffic is one very obvious example. When we swerve and counterflow just to get past the car in front of us, it disrupts the flow of vehicles from behind. If more people follow suit and overtake, the collective dissonance creates slow-moving traffic. More than traffic, this impatience usually brings up other problems on the road. Most road-rage fights are often caused by impatient drivers trying to get past each other’s vehicles. A lot of accidents and car crashes are caused by impatient drivers beating the red light or counter flowing to get ahead.
However, the kind of impatience that bites us back the most is our impatience for change. We Filipinos love fast and quick results, and this attitude usually becomes our downfall. Whenever we try out something new, be it a habit or a hobby, most of us often quit after just a few days or weeks because of the slow results and changes it brings. We often always see something that brings slow changes as unfit and inefficient, and this makes us miss out on the benefits of sticking to a long-term goal or solution. This not only extends to our habits and behavior, but also in the way that we choose our leaders. Whenever our government leaders tackle on long term goals and plans, we often get impatient on the process and question the leader’s capacity. On the other hand, we look up to leaders who could promise short term changes and instant results, even if the long term would ensure a better, more sustainable development for the country. Because of this, we usually miss out on good solutions and settle on short-lived, inefficient ones.
If only we could be a little more patient, we would have solved a lot of our problems. If everyone on the road just kept calm and didn’t try to overtake each other, we would have faster traffic. If everyone stopped settling on immediate results and relief, we would all be making better life choices. If everyone just pulled themselves together and read through long office memos or group notices, we would have saved a lot of time from mismanagement and asking questions. The same all applies to a large scale of things. We would have progressed more as a country if we trusted more in the long term than just settling on half-baked short-term plans. Nevertheless, our impatience is something that we all should drop behind and move forward without. It limits our capacity for greater change and opportunity for development as a people and as a nation.
There’s no question that our people are very impatient. Sometimes, it may be harmless just like our preference for sporting events. Other times, it creates a large problem for every driver on the road. Nonetheless, most of our problems could be solved if we just became more patient and trusted in the process.