It is a long standing theory that patience is a virtue, but it is also one which is not readily available in our contemporary culture. As technological advancement has improved the speed and ease with which everyday tasks can be performed, so too an entire generation has become accustomed to being achieving instant gratification and satisfaction. This impatience and demand for swift resolution has influenced our feelings concerning less relevant aspects of our lives, such as relationships, career advancement and also the governments approach to social issues.
Subsequently we live in an age where we expect to see any issue resolved both swiftly and efficiently, regardless of its complexity or significance. Whether we address social problems such as obesity or look to improve the level of diversity within a range of professional or academic fields, society is fairly impatient with regards to the amount of time it is prepared to afford those who seek to effect change and improvement. This not only does a disservice to a nations problem solvers, but also serves to increase social tension and discontentment.
The Current US and Desires for Growth
The current economic and social circumstances that afflict the US undoubtedly need resolving, but these changes must be effected gradually and with a view to long term prosperity. While it is healthy for a nations citizens to desire both local and national growth and advancement, these feelings cannot be allowed to manifest themselves in short term solutions and an over eagerness to ensure a speed rather than a quality of resolution. For any social change to reap benefits, it must be implemented and cultivated over a significant period of time.
Without this ethos, a nations government can in fact encourage the debilitating cycles of boom and bust, especially with regards to the performance of their economy. This generates the extremes of recession and growth, which are separated by lengths of gradual and painstaking recovery, and can result in many of the social issues that blight individual communities and wider demographics. These cycles of depression and prosperity make it impossible for either citizens or businesses to develop as they would like to, and prevent adequate reinvestment into the economy and hinder the possibilities for self improvement.
Effecting Social Change
Issues of race and diversity also create tension in society, with different factions keen to push and impart their own swift resolutions. For example, both the US and similar western nations have discussed improving the diversity of candidates for specific high powered roles, including that of the coveted justice of the Supreme Court in America. This role has promoted much historical discussion concerning the diversity of its incumbents, whether in terms of the geographical or social views represented, or to a lesser extent each applicants race, gender of sexuality.
Although great strides have been taken to improve the selection process for this and similar high profile roles, effecting social change of this type is a gradual labor, and its results will not be fully appreciated until later generations. As an example, while only 3 out of 112 elected justices of the Supreme Court have been female, these have all been appointed since 1981, and reveals that this period has already seen a significant evolution in diversity and equality. This should not be disparaged as inadequate or a token gesture from governing officials, and should instead be viewed as a portent for social change and progression.
Impatience in the Pursuit of Change
It would be all too easy to let our generational impatience do a disservice to the progress that has made in promoting diversity, and indeed prevent governments from implementing long term plans for growth and prosperity. Instead it would be far more beneficial to society if its citizens displayed caution in the face of social change, and allowed governments the opportunity to pursue their long term visions of national success. By being able to operate without pressure or undue criticism, they can refrain from the temptation to employ temporary or unsuitable short term resolutions.
Whether we consider social, economic or diversity issues, long term planning is the only way to successfully challenge and resolve them for all future generations. Short term planning results in only uncertainty and social discord, and is entirely opposed to any kind of sustained growth. Society must remain patient and aware of their circumstances, and appreciate that foundations are being laid to improve the nations level of diversity and financial situation. In terms of a nations growth, developments do not necessarily need to be overt or visible to be considered as tangible or significant to society.