pa-tience, n. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
Do you know how much more time it takes to be patient than the alternative? No time at all. I went to the grocery store today and the young lady who was bagging the groceries was not going as fast as the woman behind me would have liked. It was clearly her first day as she did not have an official uniform or name tag and she looked a bit stressed out. She was very young and I believe this may have been her first job. I was sitting there waiting and saw the irritation growing in the woman. I wondered what she thought the benefit was of her behavior. The girl could not go any faster. She will surely get faster as she gains experience, but for today, she was doing the best she can. The only thing the woman was accomplishing was making her more upset.
I have been thinking a lot about patience over the last year. I had to try very hard to be patient as I was waiting for a job. If I got stressed or irritated or angry, it would not make a job offer appear. I am not saying that staying calm would make one appear either. Things happen in their own time. As much as we want control of the universe, we do not have it. I will get the right job at the exact moment I am meant to. Regardless of my attitude. My attitude only affects my mood and the mood of those around me. It does not affect my circumstances.
Patience is not easy to come by. Especially today in the land of instant gratification. If I want to talk to my best friend who is on the opposite side of the country, I can talk to her right now. I don’t have to wait for a written response to be not only written, but carried by non-motorized vehicles hundreds of miles, through various terrains. If I want a warm meal, I don’t have to wait for a fire to be built, food to be prepared, then fully cooked. I can throw some food in the microwave for a few seconds and still burn my tongue. If I want to watch The Wizard of Oz I don’t have to wait the several months to a year for it to come back on television (and hope I don’t miss it), I can watch it right now. On the internet, or with my own personal DVD, or from the DVR from last week. We do not live in a world that demands patience. We are not used to having to wait. This makes waiting for things that are beyond our control all the more excruciating. But it also makes your attitude all the more impressive when you develop the ability to wait with grace.