I think there was a time when we were more patient, but we have evolved into the Alka Seltzer generation of instant relief. The commercial from the sixties goes like this: "Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is. Take speedy Alka Seltzer and relief is just moments away."
In a sense, the advances in technology have put us there. There was a time when to start a car, you had to insert a crank in the engine and manually turn it over until the engine started. That took time and patients. Telephone were on party lines, where you had to wait for the line to be cleared before you could place a call via an operator. That took time and patients.
We demand relief immediately because we can get it. The generations of today don't have a clue as to what it used to take to listen to a program on the radio like the Lone Ranger or the Green Hornet that allowed us to use our imaginations.
In order to change a channel on a T.V., you had to get off your butt and walk over to the T.V. There were no remotes and DVRs to prerecord your information so that it could be instantly played back. It's all about instant relief that does not require patience and we demand it and expect it!
You can get into the "way back machine" and see how far we have come and how fast we are evolving in terms of technology.
Here is the link to the Alka Seltzer Commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxjb2UJZ-5I
Thanks for the question, it really made me think!