I have been on an Arcade Fire binge recently. They have a brilliant new album called “The Suburbs” and I am enjoying it tremendously. It is an album basically about growing up in the suburbs and the interesting things it has done to American culture. It’s funny that an album like this struck home for me, a kid who grew up in the country, but this album is nearly perfect. It sounds exactly like an album should when it tells the story of a person growing up in the suburbs.
Frontman and songwriter, Win Butler is an excellent lyricist, and the track, “We Used To Wait,” made me think quite a bit. The song essentially talks about how we used to have to wait for things. He gives the example of writing letters and how, at one time we would wait for them to come in the mail. Now we don’t want to wait for anything.
It’s not just the rest of the world that’s like that. I think we, or at least I, am becoming that way too. When we order stuff online, if we want it badly enough, we can pay extra money and have the package delivered the next day. I have to wonder if such capabilities are really “good” for us.
I think the anticipation of waiting for something that you want is an essential balancing part of your life. There is something satisfying about waiting for something to come and then being able to enjoy it. Let me give an example.
One of my friends and I were planning to go to a concert. Plans changed and she had something else come up. I called up another one of my friends and asked him if he wanted to go. The concert was great, but he said afterword he didn’t enjoy it as much because he really had no time to look forward to it. I found it more enjoyable than he did because I had been waiting for that day to come for around two weeks.
I had to think of Paul talking about contentment and how he has learned in whatever state he is to be content. There is value in needing to wait for things and it is something that has largely been lost in a society that needs everything now. It’s something that struck me and kind of startled me when I realized that I was like that too.
Wait on stuff. It’s good for you.