crying-babyRecently, I was serving Mass with a good priest friend of mine at a parish in Baltimore. During the Mass, a small toddler got restless, starting crying and every few moments, the baby would let out a piercing scream. The poor parents of this child were trying in vain to quiet the child. They pulled out toys, passed the boy back and forth, hugged him and rocked him, all to no avail. Now, the parents did not take the child out of the Church because the father was being received into the faith and needed to be present during the Rite of Acceptance. Nonetheless, I must admit, one part of me was annoyed because I found it hard to concentrate.

Should I really be annoyed or thankful?

Sitting on the altar, I noticed others in the congregation getting annoyed as well. Well, right when we could not stand it any more, right when the mother and father were about to surrender and leave the Church, my friend the celebrant, said to the parents, “Don’t worry about the crying child. All of that crying just means that the Catholic Church has a future.” He went on to say to the rest of us, “If you go into a church that does not have a crying baby, that church is in trouble. It has no future. So, let us thank God for crying babies.”

Cries of joy

That simple statement changed my mentality as well as that of most of the congregation. I still think the parents of an older child who should be disciplined may still rightfully garner a few scorns. But an infant whose parents are trying the raise the child in the faith deserve a bit more sympathy.  So, next time you find yourself annoyed and distracted by a crying baby, thank God; the future of the church is being secured.

I will share more “less-than-obvious” reasons to thank God in the coming days.

44 Responses

  1. Many years ago when I was just in high school I was attending Mass. The servers had forgotten to light the candles. So, after the homily and prayers when we were all seated, the priest asked the altar boys to light the candles. as they came out to light the candles in the silent church a little child began to sing: “Happy Birthday to you….” Ex ore infantium

  2. mindy says:

    From this mother of six who are now past the crying years, I think your friends response was perfect. When I hear a little one fussing during Mass, I don’t get annoyed, I smile. I hope to convey to the parent trying to deal withit that, “This too shall pass,” and before they know what happened, that little fussing bundle will be too big to sit on their laps, won’t be saying, “I want Mommy!” and it will take more than cookies to make all things better.

    Parents with kids who refuse to be quiet should also remember, there’s great stuff at the back of the church too. Often, parents with younger children sit in the gathering space in our church during Mass. The gathering space there is usually filled with kids who are dancing, singing and the sign of peace is always pretty enthusiastic back there.

    • Deacon Curtis Turner says:

      Mindy, thank you for your comment. If there is an alternative available that will allow you to participate in the Mass without disturbing others, you should take advantage.

  3. Dennis Andersen says:

    I have great anticipation in attending Sunday Mass and enter the church a half hour before Mass starts. I enjoy the silence of the church and I arrive early to pray and prepare for the Mass service and Holy Communion. I also want to prepare myself to better focus on the upcoming Mass as it can be difficult at times to keep my concentration. One of the reasons is crying babies. I am a grandparent and are very tolerant and understanding of infants crying …outside of the church service. Why should parishioners be interrupted in their prayer service by parents refusing to move to the back of the church,outside,vestibule or the closed area set aside for parents and their babies. Can any one adequately pray or concentrate during the Mass with some child crying in their ear? I understand a parent(s) wanting to stay with their family and not missing parts of the Mass. But…please have consideration for the other people around you also being involved in the Mass.

    • Deacon Curtis Turner says:

      I agree. I was less annoyed because the parents in my example were trying to quiet the child. Also, I think they would have left if it wasn’t such an important day for the father.

      • Phil Boura says:

        I just got back from mass and couldn’t hear 3/4 of it due to a crying child, as is the case EVERY weekend, of a particular couple who are utterly oblivious to it and will not even go to the lobby when it happens. (Why don’t they do what my parent’s did when I was growing up…one parent stays home w/child while the other attends mass, then they switch off?) It’s at a point that it’s not worth going to church. (Somebody mentioned that it should be viewed as sign that there’s a future of the church…oh pleeeeasse!) If anybody says anything to the them (the parents), they’ll got defensive about it.

        • Bud Montang says:

          Yours is truly a sad statement on the health of the catholic church. Mass is a family event, to suggest a couple “split duties” for Mass attendance so you can be more comfortable is incredibly selfish. Do you attend such a small church that the child’s noise occupies the whole of the Sanctuary?

          If the parents are truly oblivious and not trying to quiet the child it would be different, but I highly doubt they are as oblivious as you suggest.

          Let me guess both Dennis and Phil are mid fifties or later in life and probably contracepted during their marriage.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Hi Bud,
            I’m 30. I’ve been married 5 and 1/2 years, and I’ve got 4 children, ages 4 and under. Not exactly of the contraceptive mindset. But my husband and I just recently started going to Mass in shifts so our little ones can stay home (the 4-year-old goes because he’s old enough to sit still for an hour). And it’s AWESOME. Just because you can’t pray with a clingy 3-year-old or a squirmy, squealing 1-year-old nearby doesn’t mean you’re older than 50 and used contraception. I certainly wasn’t praying during Mass with my kids needing constant attention, and I consider myself a pretty normal person, so I’m guessing Dennis and Phil are normal people who can’t tune out normal, fidgety, loud children when they’re trying to turn their hearts and minds to God.

            I’m pro-life, pro-family, believe everything the Church teaches, etc. But I’ve studied enough theology to know that Mass is not a “family event.” Lots of single people go to Mass; they’re not having a lesser experience because they don’t go with a family. Mass is about worshipping God, period. Children under the age of 4 generally aren’t worshipping God when they’re in church, and many people around them aren’t able to worship much either. It used to be the norm for parents to split shift or leave the baby (or babies) with a relative who went to a different Mass. Even St. Therese didn’t go to Mass as a baby. Her parents certainly weren’t contracepting their brains out. Not wanting kids at Mass is not the same thing as not wanting kids at all. Some of us just need to have an hour each week where we can worship God the way He’s commanded us to worship Him for our own good. My little ones are sure happy that Mommy isn’t trying to force them to do something they are incapable of doing (sitting quietly for an hour), Mom and Dad actually get to worship God, and we’re able to help the 4-year-old follow a picture missal, learn the responses, etc. because we’re not chasing escape-artist toddlers or quieting babies. The rest of the congregation probably appreciates it too. Way I see it, it’s been a win-win-win.

  4. anon says:

    Here’s an important link to all those living in Montgomery County who value the right to NOT be pro-abortion-

    http://capwiz.com/mdcath/issues/alert/?alertid=14337646

  5. Kate says:

    What is often overlooked is that parents expect others to delight in how cleverly their children from birth to adolescence scream in rage, punch each other, howl, kick the pews, crawl on the floor or pews (surely a 10 year old doesn’t do this at home?), eat snacks nonstop — before going up to Communion, etc. Often, if the parent is actually paying attention to the Mass, the child will pull & tear at mommy, demanding attention be given only to the child.

    Is this healthy behavior?

  6. Peter Roberts says:

    It was the sabbath and the Rabbi was urging the faithful to pray that Heaven may open and God’s grace fall on them. They prayed earnestly for quite a while. They looked up. Nothing had happened. Heaven was firmly closed.

    The Rabbi urged them on some more. They prayed with renewed vigour for quite a while. They looked up again. Nothing – Heaven was still firmly closed.

    They all resolved to keep trying all day, if necessary.

    Eventually, a small child at the back became bored and would not be consoled by his mother and so let out a yell.

    Heaven opened.

    God’s Grace poured out and fell on them.

  7. Shelly B says:

    SHOULD YOU BE ANNOYED OR THANKFUL? My answer would be yes (situational) and yes. As someone that has been there and done that, my kids are 25ys, 17yrs, and now by the grace of God a 15 months old. Ahhh! It is so nice when they are all grown up. No more crying in church. Maybe a little reminder here and there to sit up straight, and no leaning back on the pew while we are kneeling was what I had to contend with. I’m back to the drawing board. I’m back to perspiring a lot more in church. Not really paying attention, and becoming more anxious. Tried the cry room. Ya’ll, I’m sorry, they are just not the same as being out in the congregration. I understand. Yes, I do get annoyed at crying kids too. More so with disobedient children and disrespecful kids. But, I truly want to sit in the pews with my whole family. We do sit at the back for now. I will say, parents with kids that are crying, believe me I know you are stressed out, you should give yourself a time limit. If your kid is not going to be quiet and a short timely manner, you do need to move. What is annoying to me is not the child, but the parent who will let the child keep being disruptive. I know you don’t want to, but you need to remove yourself, until the child is calm. And as the article states we do need to be thankful for God’s little children and our church’s future.

    • Deacon Curtis Turner says:

      Shelly B,

      I think you are right. To be annoyed or thankful is situational. When kids are being kids, that is OK. But when parents are NOT being parents, I will remain annoyed.

  8. ben says:

    When my eldest daughter was an infant, she once threw a terribly loud fit at mass. My wife took her out to the vestibule, but she was still too loud. Finally she left the church and stood out with her by the street. My daughter could still be heard in the church.

    After mass, the celebrant was greeting people in the back of the church as the left. Somone complained to him about the noise of our child. The priest simply told this person not to worry. “that is what your prayers sound like to God,” he said.

    • Sioban says:

      That is a neat response! (That is what your prayers sound like to God)…and it often feels like that too, from our point of view, right?!

    • Deacon Curtis Turner says:

      Ben,

      It sounds like you were trying to do the right thing. I am glad the priest defended you.

    • Phil Boura says:

      “Not to worry?” What else is the priest going to respond? Besides, he already knows what he’s going to say in the sermon. I can’t even hear it with the wailing. I just want able to think about my prayers in thought and focus. Is that too much to ask at a 7am mass? (No, I can’t go to a later service, since I it’s the “Childrens’ Mass”.).

  9. Pete says:

    As in many things, balance is needed. We parents must be diligent in training our children to behave properly at Holy Mass. This often means avoiding those places set aside for families when they become playrooms for children instead of a place to quiet a child for a few moments or for a nursing mom to gain some privacy. Others in the congregation must be tolerant of some noise…it takes a few seconds to remove the crying child. All in all, the statement the priest made in this story is correct…no kids, no future for the priesthood or the Church.

  10. Lisa says:

    When my son was young, we attended a church that the pastor had deliberately built without a cry room because he did not feel children belonged in church. I believed in worshiping as a family. my son was fussy one day and the pastor stopped his homily and told the congregation that he was not going to continue unless I left. We left and joined a new parish. Sometimes the clergy needs to be conscious of who they alienate.

    • Janet says:

      I wish my priest would ask parents to use our cryroom. We have a brand new church with a beautiful quieting room. But, instead of using it, parents let their children disrupt everyone else in church by playing with toys and drinking from sippy cups that talk when the kid drinks from them. HELP!

      • Phil Boura says:

        I know exactly how you feel. (You’d think at the 7am service it would be too early for babies to be in tow…wrong. It’s at a point where I don’t even want to church anymore.).

      • Terry says:

        The crying baby is not getting a thing from the service! There is a time and place for everything. Baby room for the babies, Age appropriate rooms for the older children for church at their level. Then everyone walks away on Sunday Morning learning something. If the baby is allowed to stay in the service, then the Adults coming to have a touch by God, got interrupted and touch my a baby instead. (Satan will use a baby to keep you from your touch by God and steal your Joy) The adults walk away with their nerves out of whack. God will take care of the generation of the church! The parent is to show respect to the Pastor as well as the people and take baby to the baby room when getting loud. I go to church to pay attention to what God has placed on the Pastor’s heart to share, not pay attention to the parent in front of me who is trying to get their child quite. We then all walk away with nothing but frustration. The Parent got nothing and I got nothing, so why do we go to church? Some churches are on TV and do need a baby crying in the background. Most nurseries also have speakers so the parent can still hear the message. Distraction is not what we go to church for, babies are the next generation, but they can go to the nursery where most church’s have caregivers to care for the child until that church is ready for the adult room. I usually sit on the front roll of the church because I’m easily distracted by others talking, writing notes or the children in the service. I come to worship and to be taught by God, not distracted. Why go to church if I get nothing but walk away frustrated because of the noise in the service. Would be all right to have a crying baby in your child’s classroom at school? They are the next generation…. http://www.IRestoreRelationship.com

  11. Bob says:

    Mark 10 13-15: 13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

  12. Fr Silver Opio says:

    What a coincidence. In some corner of Uganda, this last Sunday (22nd Nov), I was right in the middle of my homily and a child started screaming uncontrollably. Sure it disorients, and I could also see the discomfort among the congregation. It made a huge difference when I remarked that here is a message for all of us that children too belong to the church and to the Kingdom of God. And I added: here are parents who know where their children should be on a Sunday morning; others in this Church might not even have a clue where their children as we speak… – and what a difference it made to the mood in the Church. This is the Catholic church indeed: Be happy

  13. Magdalena says:

    I was so lucky! My parents did not take me to Mass until I was five. We the kids stayed with grandma while mom and dad went to Mass. Grandma read the stories from the bible to us every Sunday morning. When my oldest brother started going to Mass I begged my parents to take me also. Can you imagine a kid begging to go to Mass! By then I knew the stories, I knew there was a connection to the scriptures to be found. And I had to catch up to my brother.
    Thank you Lord for fraternal rivalry!

  14. Rev. George E. Stuart says:

    In reading this post and the responses, I was reminded of a paragraph that I read (and copied) from an article in an issue of the American Ecclesiastical Review from 1921:

    Another instance of his dealing with childhood is deserving of notice. “During one of his sermons a baby became restless and began to cry. The crying grew in volume until it filled the church and it became plain that either Father Coffey or the baby would have to stop. ‘There are two of us preaching in this church at once,’ said he, ‘and I don’t know which of us is giving the better sermon. When a baby cries in church he is telling two things. First, that there are babies in the family; and second, that the mother has come to Mass with her baby. On the whole I think the baby is preaching the better sermon and I’ll let him go on with it. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ And he continued the Mass.”

    I always remember this when I “compete” from the pulpit.

  15. Beth says:

    When your own journey with the Lord becomes that much more important to you than the journey of your fellow parishoners, I find that really sad. Children ARE the future of the church. I like this approach. I was raised in the Catholic Church and have since left and joined another church because of the alienation of young people and Children in many parishes. I support Catholic churches who have specific Family Masses and those of you who are SO annoyed can avoid the babies instead of the babies avoiding church. Just because you have been Catholic 50 years and me 15, doesn’t make you more righteous.

  16. Blake Helgoth says:

    As a father of four (7,5,3 and one in the womb) I understand the dilemma. Some of mine were / are very difficult at Mass. The problem is that some parents refuse to be parents and let their kids do whatever. We find that if you bring thing that help the little one focus, and then re-focus, etc. it keeps them from throwing fits. We take the kids out if they are throwing a tantrum, but not if they are just making some noise. One of the problems is that even when there is a cry room, the parents that use it feel it is a playroom for their kids. If you are using the cry room or the vestibule as a playroom, your kids are not attending Mass. We have always taken our kids to Mass, even daily Mass, Midnight Mass, etc. They get so much out of it and in small ways they are able to participate in the sacrifice to some extent. When your 3 yr. old sing the Gloria, or other Mass parts, or your 2 yr. old goes home and plays Mass with his toys, you know why they are there.
    One more thing, the babies sometimes cry because they need to be fed. My wife nurses at Mass. She just covers herself with a blanket. We have taken a great deal of flack for this from priests, but would they rather we not bring them? Sadly, I think many would rather babies stay at home. We are Catholic, we need to get over the whole uncomfortableness with breast feeding. Oh, and those that do breast feed do need to do it discreetly, but they should not have to leave.

  17. gb says:

    . ” I am a grandparent and are very tolerant and understanding of infants crying …outside of the church service.”

    Please, get a life…or at least a sense of what Jesus wants from his body, the Church! The priest who spoke up in this original post is correct. You, grandpa, are wrong. I am sure that the apostles thought they were doing the right thing by trying to keep the local kids away from Jesus but He put a stop to that hypocrisy because ONLY children will be allowed to enter heaven. If you want peace & quiet for meditation, “go to your room, close your door & speak with your Father” but don’t diss the kids in church.

    Since you’re a grandpa, you will no doubt remember the days when Catholic Churches were built without cry rooms because the entire church was a cry room. Families routinely took up whole pews. Those were the days before contraception and abortion kept one out of three kids in our Church from living. Then the Churches got quieter & quieter….

    Yes, I know many parents don’t adequately do their job. Yes, I know its distracting. That’s the way kids are. That’s the way real life is. If we want a pro-life Church, the place to start would be in Church.
    With respect,
    Grandma

    • Philboura says:

      Calling the grandpa “wrong” is reflects a lack of understanding on your part, especially when you tell him to “go to your room, close your door & speak with your Father”… No, the whole church was NOT a “cry room” in the old days, which I remember too. People were more considerate about the matter.

  18. Catherine says:

    My parish has many, MANY children, so about every other week there is one of the younger ones crying or trying to run down the aisles to the alter. I think it’s because my church population is small and has been together for over a decade that we put up with each other so well. So it shocks me when I go to other churches and there is only one baby crying or yelling and people actually make an effort and turn around to look at the parents. That’s just plain out rude. Sometimes a child just won’t stop crying and theres nothing you can do! Thank God for tolerant priests and clergy that support large families.

    With my support to large, healthy, happy families,
    A 14 year old Catholic girl

  19. Jim says:

    The Catholic Church’s cultural practice that children should be in mass is one reason why I am no longer Catholic. When I was a child, I HATED getting dragged to mass every Sunday. It was extremely boring, but I was taught it was something I had to do, kind of like eating my vegetables. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I saw the other side of the coin. Specifically, that it was as burdensome to my parents keeping me in line during mass as it was tedious for me to be there. So what you have is parents who are spending all their energy getting their bored children to not act up and disturb the congregation. Our family can think of plenty of other better ways to spend our Sunday mornings, thank you very much.

    • Dave says:

      A better way to spend a Sunday than to be present before the true presence of the Lord? Better than being present at the passion and resurrection of the Lord? Better than hearing the Word inspired by the Holy Spirit? Better than feeling the love of the Holy Spirit? Better than being allowed to enter a house of worship and to worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit without fear of being put to death? Better than being able to share with your children the understanding and love of God? Better than hearing that we can be saved and that no matter how bad of a life that we have lived God is waiting with open arms to welcome us back? I don’t think so.

      I say let the children cry. Let them yell. Yes teach them not to act this way in Church. Teach them who’s house it is that they are in. Teach them to love and respect our Lord. Teach them Jesus is not the statue on the cross but is present in the little tabernacle where the little red light is lit so we know how to find Him. Teach them to love our Lord for what He did for us. Teach them that the crucifix helps us remember all the suffering that our Lord did for us so that we might be saved (although it show only such a small part of it). Teach them that Jesus is resurrected and live and is with us whenever we gather together. Teach our children to Love the Most Holy Trinity.

      God grant you grace to see the wonder that you miss whenever you miss being with our Lord in His house with your family.

  20. Bonnie Blue. says:

    We have childrens church for 2-5 yr olds and a nursery for younger ones attended by mothers and grandmothers of the congregation so why do other mothers allow their infants to remain in church and cry and misbehave and disrupt the preacher and the rest of us trying to hear him?? I don’t understand it. They can’t be getting anything out of it except frustration and anger at the child. If they don’t want to leave their child with other people then go back to childrens church or nursery with them until you are comfortable with it. The message is on the intercom so you can hear it if you want but better yet we can too!!

    • Marlene says:

      I agree 100%! In our church there are some sets of parents and grandparents who make no attempt to quiet the babies or take them outside when they are crying. They just sit in the pews, seemingly oblivious to how disruptive and rude they are! They don’t even pay attention to the service because they’re too busy bouncing the baby up and down on their laps and trying to entertain the child. It’s just plain ignorant and rude! Thanksgiving and Good Friday services are held in the historic “chapel” on our church property, and it’s quite a bit smallerl than our main sanctuary. Every single time there’s a service in the chapel, there’s an ignorant set of parents in the congregation with a screaming child and they make no attempt to leave! The rest of us are unable to hear the sermon or get anything out of it. This was particularly annoying on Good Friday during the reenactment Christ’s walk to Calvary, which should have been a somber, quiet occasion. Instead, we were subjected to screaming children! It ruined the whole point of the service. My husband and I have decided to not attend these chapel services in the future because of this. I’m thinking of speaking with the pastor about my feelings. I’m Christian, but this type of behavior is uncalled-for and rude to those of us trying too concentrate on the message.

  21. Jack Bray says:

    this is a favorite subject of mine..what is missing in all of this discussion, seems to me, is the fact that we are participating in the Sacrament of the Eucharist..this is not a parish social where we are expecting noisy children…crying is irreverence, however unknown to the child, for which the parents are responsible..it is also inconsiderate of others..the solution is either take the child to the vestibule or parents split the duties..that way everybody benefits and the Mass is celebrated properly and reverently for all..when we make excuses and the complainers are accused of impatience, we miss the point..it is the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist….

  22. Pam says:

    I am a Grandma and babysit my 4 month old Grandson on weekends and sometimes will let Grandpa babysit on Sunday so I can go to Mass but we have been debateing bringing him with us and going to the mass that has a cry room.We have not done it yet. My Grandson has a breathing disorder that causes him to be very loud all the time.I truly miss going to mass as a family but have also found the cry room to be distracting. I’m not sure what the answer is to the question on crying children in church but for now it seems that this issue needs some prayer. I find that reading the bible at home and praying constantly and bringing up your children in the ways of the Lord is just as important as church is if not more important.Teaching your children about God and reading them bible stories and teaching them to pray is far more important.

  23. Jess says:

    I came across this post while googling family masses in the Archdiocese of Washington. I was at first heartened by the blog; I think it is wonderful that we have clergy who recognize that children should be welcomed at mass. I think that is what Jesus would want. I am a married mother of three who is very active in my parish. I came into the church 5 years ago and have served it every since in gratitude for helping me find the true path to Christ. My husband, a cradle Catholic, does not share my love for the Church and so on all Sundays and Holy Days with the exception of Christmas and Easter I am alone with my three children, ages 9 months, 3 and 5 years. My children are well behaved and do not scream or yell during church. I do my best to keep control of all three of them at the same time so that they may hear the Word of God and receive the graces offered through participation in the mass. But still I get the stares and dirty looks if my children act anything less than perfect. Just last night I left mass in tears because two people decided to have a conversation about me and my children during the the consecration of the most holy Eucharist. And were my children really being that bad? No. There was no screaming. There was not loud talking. There was a fidgety todller who needed to use the restroom twice, but nothing more. The only fussing and protests came from my children when I made them get up and leave because they knew it was unusal for mommy to leave before communion, but I would rather leave than sit in the church crying because someone so rudely wants to point out that I have three children. Sadly I no longer feel comfortable in my home parish. I don’t know how I can go back to a place that makes ANYONE feel that unwelcomed.

    Jesus’s most important message to all of us was to love one another. We are instructed to love others more than we love ourselves. But where is the love in ostracizing members of our church for simply being? Where is the love in looking at a woman with three children and assuming the worst about her instead of welcoming her and her children with love? Why do we not celebrate each and every child as a beautiful, magnificent creation and gift from God?

    If we take the stance that some in this thread have suggested and segregate children from the mass or worse yet keep them from the mass entirely until they reach the age of 5, what does that say about our Church? What does that say about us?

  24. Ruby says:

    We should all remember that Jesus saved his harshest rebukes for the self-righteous religious leaders…those who put the letter of the law above the spirit of the law. We are supposed to die to self, right? We are supposed to put the needs of others above our own, right? Why are the needs of parents of young children & the children themselves any less than anyone else’s? His word says children are blessings, & we must all become like children to enter His kingdom. I’m sure we’d all agree that we want children to be raised by parents who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind & strength. How are parents of young children, especially with large families, supposed to grow in their faith when they aren’t welcome to stay in service? I can tell you that they aren’t going to grow by bein relegated to a “cry room” or a nursing moms room or the lobby or the parking lot. Give some grace to your brothers & sisters. Of course sometimes a child must be taken out, but in general I think the body of Christ needs to be extending more grace to young families. Heaven forbid a family feels unwelcome in worship, as Jess has been made to feel. The judgmental attitudes & actions of others may be the last straw that keeps a frazzled, hurting family away from church forever.

  25. Adria Koss says:

    He is cute,, too terrible his sister was screaming

  26. Sonny in Philly says:

    Maybe the cry room with the soundproof windows and a limited view should be reserved for those who are easily distracted during mass and have no tolerance for crying babies or handicapped individuals. Is the underlying issue here a lack of patience or selfishness?

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