Last night, I went out to meet a good friend and the rain started to pour angrily without any warning. We ran to the nearest waiting shed—dilapidated, vandalized with vulgar words, a hospitable shelter for the thousand nameless souls that have temporarily confided with it. We waited for a taxi. None has passed. My friend and I left the shed and braved the heavy rains and harsh winds, with a cheap umbrella he bought from a sidewalk vendor, after 10 minutes of waiting. My blind feet splashed the puddles of rainwater and disturbed the sleeping worms within the mud hills that were randomly scattered along the pavements of the university’s weathered roads. I was restless; and so is the weather. I heaved a question of regret: “what if we waited a little longer?”
American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.”
What was he thinking? Emerson is one of the propagators of Transcendentalism, a philosophy that is mainly a reaction to rationalism. It is heavily influenced by the Kantian belief that analyzing the reasoning process of the nature of experience is the best way to understand reality. Hence, it is understandable that for transcendentalists like Emerson, a reason doesn’t count because it is simply a medium of something more tangible—result. I beg to disagree. For everything we produce (i.e. results), there’s always something behind it, something intangible yet its prowess can move a person to smile to a stranger, a couple to tie a knot, a clique to form a lifetime friendship, and a society to build a civilization. I have always been fascinated with the invisible, with something you cannot touch but sends you goosebumps, makes your heart thump faster, and makes you look forward to every dawn of a new day. I don’t want to abandon my reasons for waiting over my impatience for results. What is the essence of result anyway if you lose the reason for your aspiration to achieve it? Waiting is a trap only if it’s done with idleness. But waiting is deserving of all justifications if it is coupled with active verbs.
For those whose agitations over their periods of transition made them doubtful of the result that is yet to come, I give my unsolicited advice, obviously different from Emerson: The truth is (aside from the fact that there is no absolute truth, only relative ones), reasons do count and your reasons are equally important as any other reason. They may not transpire to what you expect but the gameplan is to make your reason worth-justifiable. Because in the end, what really matters is why you waited.