Scallywag

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.

~ Charles Schultz - Lucy, Peanuts ~

The Power Of The Patient

September 7th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 34 secs

Where’s the power in being patient?

Being patient has fallen out of favor of late. Now, it seems that who demands most gets best. Or, do they?

Take a ticket, join a queue, and wait your turn. Life is full of delays. Whether it’s catching transport, negotiating traffic, waiting for your pound of flesh at the delicatessen, or chafing to go out the check out, being patient is essential to making everything work.

Meanwhile, impatient people demand action. Yet, invariably, it’s only for themselves. They are merely driven by selfishness. From their view, it’s not for them to respect the needs of others, or accept and respect anyone. Nobody counts but “number one.”

It used to be that these people were given short shrift for being antisocial. But for the sake of momentary fame (or, infamy), they scream and shout for what they want and often today they get their way. It’s ugly behavior, but it’s the way they work.

What does this mean for the patient person who waits for their turn and values cooperation? Do they miss out and get the worst for their persistence? Judging by how long it takes to get served it’s easy to feel that way, isn’t it? Where is the power of patience when you feel like you are at the mercy of an indifferent system?

While some processes are incredibly inhumane (like waiting for important medical treatment), there is power in being patient. Not the “I’ll hold on until I get my turn and then I’m going to explode with frustration” type of power. Rather, it’s  something gentle, yet immensely strong.

To be able to maintain your patience and calm when everyone else is losing theirs is a statement of determination and poise (Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” says that and more). It’s dignified, not weak; persistent, not frail.

Do we need to rely on others? Of course. But equipped with enough patience, we don’t need to sacrifice our dignity or act with aggression to insist on our bit. In the endurance of waiting, we reveal our true mettle. And that’s something no overindulged, egotistical individual can comprehend. We have power, and those who understand how to be patient know it most.

 

 

 

 

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