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Musings: Patience Is A Virtue…

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“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

Musings: Patience Is A Virtue... Retrain your brain...

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

Patience Is A Virtue... How do we learn to be patient?

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

Musings: Patience Is A Virtue... A patient prayer or meditation... helps.

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?

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” Victor Hugo

Musings: Patience Is A Virtue... How do we learn to be patient?

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

Musings: Patience Is A Virtue... In a waiting room... we wait.

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.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Patient brain by the Rocketer, Patient Prayer by Digital blue, Patient garden by Same Breach, via Flickr  And  Patiencewaiting room, via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Bree permalink
    25/10/2011 11:35 pm

    Patience is a virtue that most of us haven’t learned. I breatbe sometimes and then I forget.
    I like the prayer idea – to pray for patience in all thing.

  2. 26/10/2011 12:32 am

    I don’t have patience, I’m afraid 🙁

  3. 26/10/2011 1:15 am

    “Have courage
    for the great sorrows of life

    and patience
    for the small ones…”


  4. 26/10/2011 3:06 am

    Patience is a virtue. I love that quote; “Go to sleep in peace, God is awake”> Isn’t that a lovely thought

  5. 26/10/2011 4:13 am

    I am a fairly patient person, but I smile to think of how impatient my mom was — she HATED to wait for anything and would pace furiously around the house to try and keep patient whilst waiting.

    I guess I watched so much Mister Rogers and learned the song, “Let’s find something to do while we’re waiting, while we’re waiting…”

    Very good post — I borrowed your Hugo…

  6. 26/10/2011 5:06 am

    Oh, yes – I’ve heard the “Are we there yet” refrain many times over the years. Just when I thought I’d got rid of it – 😆 – it is back!

    “This too shall pass” is a favourite saying of a girlfriend of mine.

    I work on the patience thing, I really do! 🙂

  7. 26/10/2011 7:07 am

    My good friend Sherry is the most patient person I have ever met. But I’m afraid it’s one of my vices–not ugly though. It just rears occasionally and then I hate myself for it. Thanks for this great post.

  8. 26/10/2011 7:30 am

    Japanese are often said that we have a patience.
    It may be shortcut for success.

  9. 26/10/2011 8:01 am

    Hi! I totally agree about patience! It is a challenge sometimes but so worth the effort. Great article. Thanks for visiting my blog!


  10. 26/10/2011 9:29 am

    “What’s the rush? I’d rather be late than the late..”
    So well put!

    I have situations where I’m patient and ones where I’m less so. I have near endless patience with Li’l D, for example, whereas Ba.D. gets 1/10 the patience.

    I’m working on that! 🙂

  11. 26/10/2011 12:32 pm

    Alas, patience is not one of my virtues. And every time I think I ‘get it’ something else comes along to test me. I’m going through one of those tests right now and flunking big time! You’d think by now I’d understand what is meant by ‘Everything in its time.’

  12. 26/10/2011 4:45 pm

    Patience can be a hard virtue to learn….I know from experience not to ever WISH for Patience, though. It’s one of those Be careful what you wish for things!

  13. 26/10/2011 8:24 pm

    I am patient with stupidity . . . but not with people who are proud of it. 😆

    Thanks, E!

  14. 27/10/2011 6:39 am

    Patience is the greatest virtue – but one which is the most difficult for me. Time is a difficult animal to control. I struggle with it on many levels every day… Maybe someday I will find the key but for now, I’m still looking. For some reason, I think I will probably find my answers here… 🙂

  15. 29/10/2011 10:23 am

    At work, everyone thinks I am so patient with them, when secretly inside my gut is churning and I want to scream “let me do it!” Luckily my inner monologue can be controlled and I smile and wait instead.

  16. 29/10/2011 10:23 pm

    Interesting question, whether patience can be taught… I think yes, mostly through being an example for others, one that also shows off the rewards. But like everything else, or perhaps even more, patience requires the will to do it.
    To me, patience is not “boring” anymore since I’ve learned to discern between active and passive waiting = seizing the moment for somehing else, something I Can Do Now 😉

  17. 07/11/2011 8:12 pm

    I have discovered the art of being still, waiting patiently, allowing others to zoom by and their way to where ever…I love having the opportunity to slow down and experience my surroundings.


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