Did previous generations spend as much time waiting as we do in modern society? What were the kinds of things they spent waiting for? Whatever the answer, they surely were to some extent, as the act of waiting has existed ever since the birth of time itself. Have you ever stopped and wondered how many minutes a day you spend waiting? Oxford dictionary defines waiting as “delaying action” or in “readiness for a purpose.” I however fail to make these connections with the kind of waiting we perform everyday such as waiting for the subway, in the subway, in lines, in elevators, for traffic signals, for our coffee to be brewed, etc. I see it more as being dealt with as a sort of transitory moment between 2 moments – the past and the future. When one dwells deeper into this thought, and goes beyond the everyday personal care & institution related nature of “the wait”, the character of waiting seems to be vary quite a bit. For example, what is the nature of those waiting to be executed on death row? From recent studies it is estimated that death row inmates in the U.S. typically spend over a decade awaiting execution. In such situations the transitory moment that I have described, seems to be between life and death – The Ultimate Wait.
I am interested in exploring human behavior in these moments of transitory existence. As trivial as it may seem, for an average human life of 80 years, and assuming that we spend 45 – 60 minutes a day waiting, then we would have spent somewhere between 2.5 to 3.2 years of our lives in ‘limbo’. If time is money, then our opportunity cost at the minimum wage of 8 dollars/hour amounts to around 127,000 dollars. A startling fact! So how does humanity spend their time waiting? In most cases, people are lost in thought; but what are they thinking about - Life? Work? Death? Or are they just gazing into non-existence?