Thursday, May 10, 2018

How I learned (a little bit of) patience...

I'm old enough to remember a time before online shopping. If we wanted something, we went to the mall and bought it. We drove to the store, looked at things, tried on clothes, and paid with cash or credit cards. While I still do this sometimes, it's much more common for me to buy things online. I even buy my groceries online and go pick them up at Walmart without ever getting out of my car.

I'm all about hassle-free instant gratification. I don't have to go to the mall--I absolutely hate malls--or even to stores. I get the experience of shopping, but don't have to leave my house. They just arrive at my door and do so pretty quickly at that. Thank you, two-day shipping. It may seem like going to the store to buy things would be much quicker than buying them on Amazon, but when you factor in going out to get said items and all the time it takes to shop in person... forget it.

This, however, has led to some impatience. I don't like to wait for all these things I'm buying online. With quick shipping, I rarely do for more than a day or two. Considering I can buy virtually anything, virtually, a short wait is easy to swallow. And, if what I'm buying is books, there's no wait at all. I can buy e-books and start reading them almost instantly.

Then, one day, along came Kickstarter. This is practically the opposite of instant gratification. If you haven't done this, Kickstarter is a way to support projects you believe in while getting some sort of reward for your investment. We've backed 11 projects to date, all of them hobby-related (dice, gaming books, collectors edition paper dolls, etc.) and the wait has been fairly long each time. As an example, we backed a Kickstarter in October 2016 that has still not been completely fulfilled. We've gotten about half the books in the set with the other half to come over the next year.

Even knowing that backer rewards won't be available for most Kickstarters for six months to a year, I still back them. I still give them my money and then I wait. I don't just wait, in most cases, I'm happy to wait. This is how I learned to be patient... Kickstarter taught me patience. In a world where I, like every single other person in the first-world, don't want to wait, Kickstarter has made me more patient. It's allowed me to embrace the old adage that all good things are worth the wait.

Okay, well, maybe some good things are worth the wait. It hasn't exactly made me a paragon of patience... I'm human, after all. But, it has helped me to develop just a little bit of a virtue that I never, ever possessed before and that's something, right?