Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hello? Patience?!?!

Why do people care so much about finding out what goes on in the conclave? I mean, it's going to happen, it will take a few days, and then we'll all know who the next pope is. Why try to listen in and find out early? Or try to spy on the discussion and debate?

I'll give you at least one reason: a complete and utter lack of patience and self-control.

This isn't an isolated incident, at least not here in America. Consider how many folks stay up on election night to watch the returns/ predictions/ speculations/ ouiji board pronoucements. The votes will be counted, just give them time! Same for the push to use electronic voting - is there any advantage to these machines except quick voting returns? Consider how often we read a news story like: "next Tuesday, the President will announce X". If he's going to say it next Tuesday, why do we (the public) have to know about it today? (I'll admit the media needs to know so they can be there.)

Is it fed by the current practices of news media? Yup. Is it fed by the Internet's ability to instantly get you info where you are from anywhere? Yup.

Is it most especially fed by our (yes, so many of us in our American+media culture - including me) bottomless pit of desire for new news? I'll be the first to admit that I spend too much time reading on the Internet during the day looking for news - a habit I'm slowly working to break. I'll also be the first to admit that while I loathe the practice, I stayed up and watched the election returns after Nov. 2nd last year.

I sincerely hope the Conclave does achieve a total blackout of media contact - hopefully it will remind us (especially me!) of the virtue of patience.

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