Thankful for Life’s Early Lesson, Standing in Line

patience is a virtue

I am not kidding when I say, “Standing in line is one of the most valuable lessons we learn and practice at an early age throughout our childhood development."

Taking direction and holding under the pressure of just waiting while one is required to remain orderly and dignified is an act to help save us all from ourselves. It’s an underrated noble practice that molds us into civilized beings.

Consider, according to we spend about 10 years over an average lifetime of just standing in line. Yikes!  While this sounds outrageous, I think two years is more than enough.

I remember as a child, in school always standing in line.  Single or double file, we marched to lunch, the playground, the waters fountain, the library, and eventually the big double doors, at the end of the school day.  We continued into adolescents and our teens just standing to get into concerts, the concession stands at the beach, signing up for classes, and the biggest one of all, getting our driver’s license.

Sometimes standing in line had its advantages. For example, when you were paired off randomly with someone you secretly had a huge crush on and even better when the teacher directed everyone to hold hands.

Those were the days when you wouldn’t wash your hands for anything.

As we age we can look forward to all those fabulous moments such as waiting in line at the cable office, grocery store, long lines holiday shopping, and so forth and so on.


Instead, consider these dreary periods of time not wasteful or annoying, but gifted moments to use toward what little time you don't have.

As for me, some of my most creative ideas were born while standing in line.

Yes indeed, like when I put away my phone and tried to focus on an idea and then write it down on my little notepad. I also believe if it wasn’t for years of practicing the art of patience I might otherwise have not met all the countless strangers and had the conversations only to end too soon when hearing someone yelling out, "Next".

However, despite all the passing encounters I’ve experienced while standing in line my recommendation is to free oneself of all electronic devices and conversation and allow yourself permission to just think.

Imagine this,----- time to think about:

  • what to make for your friends for dinner
  • that trip to Paris you want to make
  • how you can finagle buying that car or house
  • the next chapter for your story
  • planning for your retirement
  • writing your job interview
  • And even maybe thinking about how to save the world

“I'd like to think that all time has value, even when we just daydream we have the possibilities to create big ideas.” JMD


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