In today’s society, we have come to expect the instant gratification, the rapid, the quick, the get-it-done-right-now. We have become such impatient people. We used to have a higher capacity for patience, but it keeps getting knocked off, primarily as a result of advances in technology. Cell phones, email, texting, and twittering create their own expectation momentum.
“What used to be considered just waiting now must be endured with patience. Patience really means being put off. Nobody likes being put off.”
The world doesn’t see patience as a position of strength but rather as a position of weakness, of wanting, of lack. Powerful people don’t have to wait; powerless people do. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of patience. Patience allows you to take back control over the capricious and unstable world and plant that control firmly within yourself. Patience does not give you the power over circumstances; patience allows you to control yourself in the midst of circumstances. Something we could all benefit from more of. Being patient means accepting both how you feel about a given situation and what you can realistically do about it.
Patience is a wise response to life. This life is offensive in so many ways. People can be mean, cruel, and hurtful. Circumstances can be sudden, unpredictable, and damaging. We may feel as if we live under siege from something or someone most of the time. In response, you could go around getting angry and engaging in battle over every slight and unfair circumstance. You can be quick to anger and ready to explode. But remaining in full battle mode is not a wise way to live your life. It produces incredible stress, alienates the people around you, and distorts your ability to enjoy and appreciate life.
Patience is an acquired trait. We are not born patient. Patience is something we need to grow into. It is a character trait learned through life experiences. Those who fail to learn patience are destined to continue to find themselves in situations where they’ll need it. The wise thing to do would be to learn the lesson, because trials and problems won’t change. The only thing you can truly change is yourself. Cheers to the New Year, and may we all find a little more patience in ourselves this year.