Waiting is an inescapable fact of life - it invades so much of our daily activity. We barely notice that we are waiting, unless the wait is accompanied by frustration, impatience, boredom, restlessness and helplessness. The pleasurable acts of waiting often pass us by.
The physician and writer Raymond Tallis examines the nature of waiting - how it operates and how it causes both pleasure and anguish.
He considers the ways in which waiting plays with our sense of time. He looks at how waiting invades the workplace and is frequently used as a way of exerting power. He describes the various ways in which waiting is used in music and literature and how it appears in the language of love. He talks to a prisoner about the life of waiting and considers the role of waiting within spiritual life.
Why do we wait? And how best should we be waiting?
Producer: Anthony Denselow
A Kati Whitaker production for BBC Radio 4.