“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.” Saint Francis de Sales
If you have children, you probably heard the refrain “Are we there yet?” when they were young. As they grew older, they stopped asking and found other ways to stay entertained. I wish I could say that all those kids who asked the question grew up to become patient adults, but that isn’t the case. Most of us grew up, stayed impatient, and found other ways to express our frustration. Ironically, demanding that things happen now or pushing our way to get what we want is viewed as childish and when an adult has a tantrum because they had to wait a bit, others look at them poorly. Yet, many of us continue to exhibit such behavior; cutting each other off on the road, interrupting conversations, tapping our feet, and even getting into fist fights. How do we learn to be patient? Can it be taught? Do we know anyone who is the epitome of patience?
“Patience is the greatest of all virtues.” Cato the Elder
Most of us are familiar with the quote above, and even pride ourselves on being patient. However, in reality, most of us will only wait when we feel we have nothing else to do. When we read about road rage and other acts of violence that occur because someone lost their temper, we know the devil of impatience was at work. I remember that as a child, our teachers always pointed out the kids who stood quietly on line, or who waited their turn without pushing, as mature, and wise. “Johnny will go far because he knows how to wait his turn or wait on the Lord.” Yet, I observed adults yelling and shoving when they had to wait longer than they felt necessary… Nobody likes to wait indefinitely, but some of the happiest people I know, have mastered the simple act of waiting patiently… “What’s the rush? I’d rather be late than the late..” an uncle used to say; especially when observing people driving at breakneck speed as if in a hurry to meet the devil.
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” Isaac Newton
I don’t know if patience can be taught to everyone, but we can make a concerted effort to act patiently, and recognize that the only thing that moves when we are impatient is our blood pressure and perhaps, our mood. A key way we can learn to develop a spirit of patience is to breathe. If we take deep breaths and repeat a phrase like, “this too shall pass,” it helps. Other useful tools like music, meditation, planning ahead, gardening, self-talk or simply accepting that things take time, help too. When we find ourselves in a rush, running late and becoming impatient, we could ask ourselves the question; What could be worse than waiting or being a bit late? The fact of the matter is that our anxiety and impatience won’t change the situation, but we can change. How do you manage your impatience?
Patience Taught By Nature by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
‘O DREARY life,’ we cry, ‘ O dreary life ! ‘
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven‘s true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle ! Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land, savannah-swards
Unweary sweep, hills watch unworn, and rife
Meek leaves drop year]y from the forest-trees
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory: O thou God of old,
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these!–
But so much patience as a blade of grass
Grows by, contented through the heat and cold.
The poem above is a reminder that if nature and all the animals that are supported by nature exercise patience, we have no excuse but to learn to follow suit. As a popular proverb suggests, “Nature, time, and patience are the three great physicians.” We can learn to work with impatience around things if we spend some time in nature. Like a dedicated gardener, we can learn to see the logic in patiently waiting to see our lives grow when we remember how things grow; from the clearing of the earth, to planting season, weeding and tending our garden, and finally harvesting our crops, all of this takes time.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. Carl Jung
Sometimes, we are led to wait for our own good; perhaps we are not ready for the blessing via a special gift or job we have asked for. Perhaps by waiting, we saved a life or even our own because we didn’t speed. It could also be that we were able to do more research to develop an important life-changing drug… Only supreme patience and effort can guide us on that path, so what’s the rush? What about you? What are your thoughts? Are you a patient person? What gets you impatient? Do you have advice on how to learn patience? Do share! Thank you. 🙂
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Who is the most patient person you know?
Positive Motivation Tip: Learn to exercise patience in all things… it is the greatest virtue.
- Who is the most patient person you know? (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
- Patience is a Virtue (jessicas345days.wordpress.com)
- Patience (improvisedlife.wordpress.com)
- The Art of Being Patient – – -How to overcome the Impatience of being Patient (reflectozone.wordpress.com)
- Be Patient Song – Patience Leads to Happiness (ichoosehappynow.wordpress.com)
- Why Patience Pays Off (thisoldcrone.wordpress.com)
- patience…the greatest of all virtues (as-simple-as-that.net)
- Pray for Patience . . . I Double-dog Dare You! (nearer2thee.wordpress.com)