‘So, are you one of those people who press the elevator button twice or more in a period of less than 60 seconds and truly believe that it will come faster? I was one of you, and most of us are. In this Dolce far niente phase of my life, It was a cozy winter afternoon where I came across this question regarding pressing the elevator button. Within seconds, I found myself digging deep in the rabbit hole trying to know as to why do I (we) actually press the button and expect it to come faster? We have always subconsciously believed that the more number of times we press the elevator button, the faster it is going to come. Right? Wrong! Our subconscious self knows that the elevator has recorded the press and will arrive at its time, but in our material-driven, self conscious world we think pressing it again is going to help.
Maybe because most of us are so adapted to ‘do’ things constantly. We can’t stay still. We can’t do ‘nothing’. The moment we realize the elevator isn’t coming anytime soon, we start getting edgy. Then, we feel extremely edgy. Just even in a matter of a couple of minutes, we can’t stand just like that. Humans have been disciplined to prefer action over inaction. From the time we wake up in the morning right till we hit the bed at night, how many seconds do we just sit still doing ‘nothing’? Doing nothing is also an action, but at a different state; which we fail to practice most of the times. I’d also like to point out, we live in a society where being busy signifies importance and doing nothing is frowned upon. People are just a bit less busy than it takes to tell people they are busy.
This behavior is not limited to elevators, but also I could see people pressing the pedestrian crossing button over and over again, and we do it on our computers too while entering some command.
Is it because we want to take control over everything that is happening to us in our lives? It seems to me that we are too afraid to let go, sit back and watch things happen to us. It is too dreadful to think about this experience as something terrible might just happen. No?
Anyways, Is it wrong or harmful to press the elevator button twice or more? As long as it fulfills the purpose of making our brains calmer in that moment, why not just do it? We really know pressing the button MAKES NO DIFFERENCE and the elevator will come at its time. But yet, the more time the lift takes to come, the more number of times we press the button. It is said that we humans are the rational most beings on Earth. But has the hole over-flown now? Do you think we give way too much importance to rationality? I believe rationality is subjective and not one universal paradigm. And just calming your brain doesn’t seem to be irrational in any way or does it really? It isn’t about rationality.
It is about faith and trust. Patience is too cliché a word. I wouldn’t say it teaches us patience, which by itself it certainly does. But something bigger and beautiful beyond patience, it cultivates a culture within us, as individuals. We don’t need to take charge of everything that happens to us, because whatever is going to happen and can happen will happen anyway. There is thrill in giving (away) controls of your life. And we need to start trusting things, trusting the elevator, trusting the lift and trusting yourself for being able of developing trust. We need to shrug off our insecurities and simply trust.
Because the gospel, my friends, is that the elevator will not come early no matter how many times you press the button. Just press it once, and stay. Stay still and tell yourself that the elevator will be here soon, following its status, and in no time the elevator shall arrive! When I did this for the first time, I walked in the elevator with a pure and blissful sense of achievement. I felt calmer than I would feel otherwise. The main epiphany I had here is that being in control of yourself feels much greater and pleasant than trying to control other external factors. And every time you do this when you are waiting for an elevator, soon you’re going to get dang amused to see yourself feel free and lighter and cheerful. Trust me on this; it is one of the best feelings to see yourself develop a new habit that stays with you for life. The habits and cultures I’ve cultivated in myself at this age are the most memorable ones and are independent of any external pressure or brainwashing. I took the sole decision of it & it feels fascinating.
Just know what my sense of universe is trying to tell you, When you press the button of the lift , the lift is going to come, regardless of how many times you have pressed the button (You will get what you want). Also, if you keep pressing the lifts button twice or more, restlessly, it is Not going to make any difference and it will come at its time. (You will get what you’ve always got). I also just realized I have thoroughly and thickly endorsed dolce far niente in the lines I wrote above, unplanned so I believe it’s a pat on my back by the universe. Maybe…