The American Way of Rushing

March 21, 2013
As I sat in the school parking lot today and watched the crazy driving around me, I suddenly realized how much Americans seem to be in a hurry or rushing to get somewhere. Every day, it’s the same madness after school. Everyone wants to get home and drives aggressively so he or she can leave as soon as possible. However, our habit of rushing isn’t just present in our efforts to get home from school, or even just driving in general, but we have this habit of running from one place to the next in every area of our lives.

I’m usually rushing on weekdays when I’m trying to get to places quick and I’m busy with homework and activities, but I would say that generally I tend to be more patient than others. I’m not constantly trying to get around people while driving, lines don’t aggravate me as much as others, and I don’t care if I’m running five minutes late.

However, my patience and leisurely attitude is not found among many other Americans. Malls and roads are where Americans seem to lack patience the most. There’s road rage, and people are constantly cutting each other off. I’m sure the accident rate would go down significantly if people slowed down when traveling from place to place. Malls are often crowded, and people hate waiting in line when they know there are so many other places they could be or other things they could be doing.

I love to travel and have been lucky enough to go to Ireland, Spain, and England, and I noticed a difference in their everyday life. They always seem to be more relaxed and seem to take their time when doing things. It takes longer to get your food at restaurants, and workers in stores never seem to rushing. There are less aggravated people when waiting in line. The people there don’t seem to have the same attitude as Americans do. If there’s a line, there’s a line. If they’re late, they’re late. They don’t seem to stress as much as Americans do about being on time. I would be considered to have a leisurely pace in America, but I even got a little annoyed by the such slow pace of their everyday life. I’m used to the fast pace of American life, and it is such a contrast in other countries.

People might argue that Americans’ fast pace contributes to the success we have and shows our motivation to get things done and get them done fast. While rushing or being determined to get something done may be a good trait to have in our jobs or school, it really does not have much benefit elsewhere. Getting angry at employees when there is a long line does not help or speed up anything, and driving fast and recklessly will eventually lead to an accident. While I’m sure we’re all busy people, our habit of constantly being in a hurry only brings negativity and often does not help situations.

Americans need to consider what our need to rush from place to place shows about our society. We get irritated far quicker than we should and are quick to take it out on someone who has no control over the situation. I think when we’re constantly rushing from place to place we forget to appreciate these everyday activities and the people we spend time with. We sound spoiled or unappreciative that running a few minutes late or waiting a few extra minutes makes us so angry. We need to slow down our busy everyday life and remember there are much worse things in the world than losing some time to waiting. We could be hungry, homeless, or unhealthy. I can name a list of things far worse than waiting. So next time before we rush from place to place or get angry while waiting, we should just take a deep breath and remember a few extra minutes of time won’t hurt anyone.

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