Patience is a virtue. That is something we have all heard many times growing-up. As a kid, living in the type of family I had, being the youngest of four, I had to learn to be patient. What’s funny though is that as I have gotten older, my patience has gotten worse, not better!
Just in the 46 years that I have been a part of this great mystery called Life, I have noticed that everything is faster and things are getting done quicker. Why ask for something tomorrow when you can get it today? For example, two months ago, I ordered two books from Amazon and when I saw that it would take up to 5 days to deliver, I said to myself “man, it’s going to take that long? But I want to read it now! I am going to go crazy waiting that lone.” Or the other day, I went to the Jewel grocery store, grabbed my two items, then when I went to the Express Checkout lane, there was a line of 7 people in front of me. Not only that, but there was only one person checking people out. You know what my first thought was? “Man, this is going to take forever!”
When my two books finally got shipped to my house, I did not not go crazy in the time leading up to that day. Because I am a busy man in a busy world, after 20 minutes of placing the order I forgot about the books and almost forgot I even ordered then until I saw the box by our front door. Did it take “forever” in the grocery line? Of course not. Shortly after I stepped in line at the Jewel Express Checkout, another person came up and started checking people out, so there were two people in the Express Lane area and by the time I left there was a third! Total check-out time for me was about five minutes.
Just in these two experience I have learned a little something about myself: I REALLY need to work on patience! Yes, I am a bit hard on myself. I was not yelling or complaining or acting-out with my impatience, but the reality is that I know that I am acting impatient! I know that in each circumstance, if something had happened to follow-up those circumstances, I would not have treated those events well. If my dog had jumped on the bed while I was typing the order for books, I probably would have gotten mad at her. If the line in the Jewel had gone on too long, I would have said something not-so-nice to a manager.
The bottom line is that my impatience can and does have an impact on the world around me. Even “little” things can create a negative energy in the world. Just taking a minute to realize in that moment that I was acting impatient can make an impact on such a big world. Taking a deep breath, closing my eyes, maybe saying a short prayer or meditating, before reacting to circumstance, can allow me to make the world a better place, or at least allow me to make my little part of it better. If nothing else, just being aware of my impatience and responding to it can be a great first step.
By the way, for those that were wondering, that picture, of the man with the beard at the top of this post, is a picture that came up when I did a quick internet search of”patience” and looked for images. Go ahead and give it a try to see what picture you find that says PATIENCE to you! If you have the patience…
Practicing Patience When I Want Everything Yesterday by Mark Michniak