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My Thoughts on the Idea of Waiting

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We wait on others for affirmation, help, affection, socialization. We wait inside ourselves for salvation, for quiet, for moments of peace, for reflection. We wait on doctors to cure our sicknesses. We wait on elected government officials to fix our nation. We wait to discover originality. We wait on phone calls, emails, and texts. We wait to mature and grow old. We wait for experiences for which we believe will define us. We wait for the next thought, the next word, and the next moment.

I would say waiting is a side effect of being human. I believe waiting is not found in nature. To give things meaning is a conscious act that I would argue separates man/woman from the animal realm. The ability to consciously make connections with thoughts in our past has a byproduct called waiting.

Instant gratification yields little meaning if any. My first thoughts considered waiting to be the act of enabling meaning through time. I soon realized that meaning is not a function of waiting but a function of time alone. I now consider waiting to be the conscious act of giving time for the purpose of meaning. It's a matter of hope or maybe intuition, that the meaning derived in our experiences through waiting will be greater than the experience without it. I argue, that meaning is an exponential function of time (meaning = time2). When we wait, we give to something the one thing we have a finite amount of, time. The thing we give time for better be worth it, because the more we give of it to a single idea the expectation of meaning is growing at an exponential rate.

What am I waiting for? I would have to ask what is it that I want my life to mean, or what is the meaning of my life. I now have to quote Joseph Campbell, towards the end of his career he once said, "I've come to the conclusion that people and religions (created by people) are not looking to find the meaning of life, but instead are looking to find experiences of being ALIVE." I would say that I am passively, yet consciously, waiting for that next experience. I find that experience in painting, music, art, my family and friends. I wait for those "ah hah" moments in art to hit, because when it hits you, you feel no pain (an ode to bob).

I appreciate waiting. It allows me to devote time to connecting thoughts from my past which helps me understand the world in which I live. It would be impossible to stop waiting, for we would no longer possess the ability to gauge the relative experiences in our lives to know what is worth waiting for, or better what is worth living for and what is not.

Peter Balanesi - Artist / Undergraduate Student Performer