What can you say about patience? They say it’s a “virtue”, right? Platitudes and fairy tale tortoises aside, there’s some real power behind a word which can save (yes, “save”) you time and effort in the real world. It may even keep your kids out of the principal’s office. Let’s have a look.
Patience is often undervalued and only associated with waiting. Of course, it’s so much more than that. It’s the capacity to tolerate delay, adversity, or suffering without getting upset. It helps you determine the perfect time to execute a plan!
”Don’t fire until I tell you; don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”
— William Prescott at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Patience will help you:
- ● Cope with an unresolved issue, like acceptance/rejection letters.
- ● Choose the optimum time to act.
- ● Wait for someone else to act in your favor.
- ● Develop a calm demeanor to de-escalate tensions
Metaphorically speaking, if patience and tolerance were siblings, wisdom would be their parent. And where there’s one, you’ll probably find the other. Young people see patience as an
obstacle to seizing the day. To a parent, patience is used to deal with children who have come to expect instant gratification.
We live in a “zero wait time” culture, where patience is sorely lacking. Pulling away from that culture to cut your own path can be especially challenging…but certainly not impossible. It requires fresh thinking and a change of one’s environment. Many Asian cultures, for example, praise those with patience and associate it with wisdom. Martial arts include patience in their teachings and praise a balance of virtues, along with tolerance, and respect.
Is patience appreciated? Not always. Would special attention to it bring satisfaction to your personal life? Almost certainly. A patient and tolerant family who’s out for dinner won’t grumble about their order taking so long. Instead, they might talk about that great soccer game they watched the day before. And let’s be clear, patience has less to do with passivity and resignation and more to do with empowerment, because it replaces blind aggressions with focus and timely action.
The power of patience is supported by science, having found its way into numerous journals. That isn’t to say that this is a new discovery. Centuries of writing from the world’s greatest minds reveal a long pattern showing the benefits of patience. It’s even mentioned in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.
“One who is prepared and waits for the unprepared will be victorious”
So take a step back. Be prepared and wait for that perfect moment to strike. Be well. Be patient.