Decision 2020

Election Results a Lesson in Patience

NBCUniversal, Inc.

On the day after the presidential election, we are still waiting for official results. It's not unusual, so why do we expect to know who won right away?

"Well, we don't have a lot of patience today for anything that's not instant," Southern Methodist University political science professor Matthew Wilson said. "So many people think it's almost apocalyptic if the other side wins, that they want to have as quickly as possible the assurance that their side has won, or more importantly, that the other side has lost."

Our Founding Fathers built the need for patience into the political process. Inaugurations aren't held the day after the election because they left time to get results and transition. Inauguration Day used to be in March, until the Twentieth Amendment in 1937 moved the date up to January 20.

"We truly live in a society that wants instantaneous results," Wilson said. "But quality is more important than speed, within reason."

At the Kadampa Meditation Center in Dallas, Gen Kelsang Menla led a livestream mediation at noon on Wednesday, on how to practice patience.

"We can slow down," Menla said with this eyes closed and legs crossed. "An inner peace will arise."

"It's just not a habit or a practice for us," Menla said about having patience. "So we default to wanting things now."

We live in a world where mail is instantly delivered over the internet. We can fast forward through commercials on a DVR. We don't have to wait to watch a season of our favorite shows. Elections are different.

"Patience is just a quality of our mind. Everybody can do it," Menla said. "It is a strength we can build."

We have time to practice while we wait on election results.

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