By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

When I was younger, I was an impatient child.

Not so much in the way that I needed everything “right now,” but more in the way of once I made a decision, I was ready to get started.

“Patience,” adults would tell me, to which usually accomplished the opposite effect. Why hold off on talking or doing something when you can run with what you already have?

Today, I still have that “Let’s get this show on the road” mentality. I’m not good at sitting around and waiting, especially when there’s something just too big to share or get involved with. But I have noticed a shift in myself over the last few years. I don’t know if it’s age, or experience, or wisdom that gives me the occasional pause these days, but as the last two years have taught me, sometime things are truly out of our hands.

Social media has created an all-new “Age of Impatience.” In a digital world of instant gratification and immediate answers, why not throw what you have out there and make adjustments along the way?

Journalism has taught me patience. I’ve been doing published writing since Las Vegas, but those early days were largely for show, hotel, or restaurant reviews. All of those experiences were my opinions, so I could go on that “instant gratification,” because it was all me. Feelings, not facts (though I will largely hold to my thought that Cirque du Soleil’s O at the Bellagio is still the best of their shows on The Strip, period).

These days, outside of an entertainment review or a column like this, all of my work deals with fact. It has to be, if I’m to remain a reliable resource, because public opinion is fairly inflexible if you don’t present your business straight. And when dealing with information from the sources that provide it, I don’t get to embellish it. I don’t get to interpret it with my personal spin. I don’t get to go on rumors or hearsay, or play “telephone” games. And sometimes, I have to wait.

Waiting has become a skill I’ve had to develop. It’s making sure to see if seemingly connecting elements actually do relate to an incident, as sometimes events continually develop. There was one story I was trying to sort out that had no less than four very different retellings, so I had to wait until proper resources provided reliable events. With facts, I don’t get to throw things at the wall and clean it up later. It’s great to be “first,” but it’s better to be responsible in the delivery.

The last two years have forced patience upon me, because event schedules for so many things these days have made us all “go with the flow,” whether we want to or not. And I can’t say I’m 100 percent changed when I’ve got something I really want to do, or I don’t die a little inside when Dallas traffic is terrible.

But I’ve learned to be patient where it matters, especially when there’s only one chance to get something right.

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