Mirror Magazine

What are you waiting for?
By N.Dilshath Banu
Early morning, you rush to the bus stand. But the bus never arrives on time. Then you wait… At the restaurant, your friend doesn’t turn up on time. Then you wait…The day is boring. Then you wait... Think about how many times you have been waiting – waiting for a break, waiting to sleep, waiting to call someone, waiting to get over a meeting and sometimes… waiting for nothing. Frustration builds up. The next moment, you lose self control and hit out at the wrong person.

Imagine if the time spent waiting could be used in a productive manner. You wouldn’t have to yearn that a day extends more than 24 hours. Some say waiting equals wasting. For others waiting equals pleasure. Yet most of us do try to keep ourselves occupied during such waiting time, as we are told not to waste a minute as time and tide waits for no man.

Twenty-one-year-old Geraldine says that while waiting she usually reads books. “If I see someone I know, I’ll talk to them. But it all depends on the situation and what time it is. Sometimes, I SMS my friends. If we’re waiting for a moment, we don’t have to bother about reading, but if it’s a considerable period of time, I really would consider using that time in a meaningful manner,” she said.

Shanaka (23) says, “I keep some books with me if I am stuck with time on my hands. Most of the time we think waiting is a waste of time. But I think we can also use this time for meditation or just to look around what’s happening. It depends on the individual.”

For 20-year-old Prasanna, ‘waiting’ begins when he’s travelling by bus to office. “During this time I just think of what I am going to do in the office and mentally plan the day. Or sometimes try to figure out if I have forgotten something. In that case, I may seek alternative ways to solve the problem if I have really forgotten something and can’t get it back.”

He adds that if he really has nothing to do, then he’ll think about whom he really has forgotten to keep in touch with and call them and update them on what’s happening in his life.

Nirosha (21) from Kandy says that usually, when she’s travelling by train, she passes the time by reading. If she gets bored she looks outside to take in the view. However, she says that it is very hard to do the same when she’s waiting for the bus.

Twenty-one-year-old Vihanga, uses different tactics on different occasions. “Colours strike me a lot. So I try to see what kind of colours people wear and if I like them, I’ll admire them. The other thing I love to do is to look around and figure out if I can see someone I know passing by. If I like that person, I may go ahead and have a chat. If that person is annoying, I may avoid the person.”

“There are two conditions existing within us. One is ‘being’ and the other is ‘doing’. Children love the state of ‘being’ as against that of ‘doing’. But when we grow up, we change. We hate just ‘being’ and love ‘doing’,” says Dr. Asoka N. Jinadasa, Strategic Planner/Senior PR consultant at Rowland PR.

Dr. Jinadasa says that time spent ‘waiting’ could be a magical opportunity for being. It is a state of relaxing, not doing anything. You should make that time to keep in touch with yourself. When you are ‘being’, you are close in contact with your subconscious mind, helping to gain peace of mind.

Says Dr. Jinadasa, “The left side of the brain is the analytic part. And the right side of the brain is the creative part. We are so used to be analytic that we have programmed ourselves to focus on doing something all the time. Most of us are living a robotic lifestyle. Creativity, however, comes through just ‘being’. When we are engaged with ‘doing’, we are forcing ourselves to focus on one particular matter and not allowing the mind to be creative. Being creative helps you to keep in touch with yourself, your mind and to see the world around you.”

“We have to understand that today is not the extension of tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow will be. At some point, we have to keep away from thinking analytically and start to think intuitively. People who achieve lot of things in life, balance their life with various activities like taking a walk, riding a bike etc., which are often called useless things!” emphasised Dr. Jinadasa.

Dr. Jinadasa adds that to use these particular periods of time there is no such thing as ‘how you should do it’.” Because when you plan, you are doing something, not ‘being’, he said. However, he says that there could be activities like deep breathing, relaxing etc., which sometimes could lead to a state of meditation.

“When you are ‘being’, you are in contact with your intuitive mind. And you get lots of creative ideas at that time. The intuitive mind whispers into your ear. And non-judgmental awareness enters your mind. So instead of grumbling about the wasting time by waiting, be creative. It’s all in the mind,” says Dr. Jinadasa.

Gandhi reminded us that there was more to life than increasing its speed. The art of living is not merely to look, but to see; not merely to listen, but to hear; not merely to experience, but to enjoy. Few of us have many great days in life. Think about it!


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