We wait for fruit to ripen. We wait for our ship to come in. We sit in traffic. We wait for our loved ones to become more loving, to stop drinking, to come home. We wait in security lines. We wait and wait for a job offer. Nobody likes to wait, and sometimes it’s just torture. While waiting we tend to be completely focused on what we’re waiting for – for the snarl of traffic to end , for the sun to come out, for the habit to be kicked, for our luck to improve. It is natural to experience wait time as wasted time, and to feel that our lives are on hold until the waiting is over. However, it is possible to turn waiting into a dynamic and creative time, just the opposite of the frustration and apprehension that we normally associate with it. We can hum a tune familiar to us. We can remember things we used to wait for and now have, or now have learned to live without. Because we have no choice, we can really smell the flowers. We can breathe and write a poem in our head. We can practice being without doing. Amidst our national zeitgeist of immediate gratification, waiting can be a countercultural, even a radical act. And endurance really does built character, which in turn enables us to wait with a sense of expectation. When it comes to waiting, the means really can trump the ends.