Patience has been described through the ages as the Mother of all virtues. In its self, talking about patience numerous times as a virtue and its importance, may feel overused or underwhelming.
James Hayes states during the past 100 years, the rate of change has accelerated, with it, the pace of events and expectations of fast decisions and actions as such resulting into conflict between unrealistic expectations and realitys challenges of our patience.
Despite, the rush of modern events and affairs against time, thought and progress, being impatient is obviously unwise and unnecessary. Rushing trees and people is a ready formula for weakness and failure. Embracing the power of patience takes strength, meaningful planning, self-analysis and a healthy amount of conscious restraint.
Someone who is able to embrace patience challenges lifes challenges with the inner knowing that the calm, composed and reﬂective mind will always overcome as it remains in the loving embrace of wisdom.
Wisdom in this case, being happy to wait and being prudent enough, because one has learnt through experience that waiting produces honorable fruits and as such patience is a persevering response to the uncertainty of an absurd world.
It recognizes that impatience generates no peace of heart or mind and causes the mind to lose focus, clarity and perspective. However, for most people in this day and age, patience feels like a chore or some duty to keep the peace or hold ones pride.
We are easily fatigued and stressed by its request to keep waiting and yet, if we learn to wait, being patient comes from an understanding that the outcome you seek is most assured by doing whats sound, this means foregoing and embracing the desired outcome that you are justly entitled to and acting in accordance with your rational conscience thought and simply allowing the destination to take care of itself.
“Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can have before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.”
Hayes further states An Admirer once remarked to the great pianist Paderewski on how much patient effort he must have invested to perfect his art. Paderewskis casual reply is classic, stating that Everyone has patience. I learned to use mine
Admittingly, one of the hardest things in life is to practice patience in the face of cruelty and unfairness. When the world beats you down, insults your being, when all things constantly go wrong, when anger fills your soul, when all your plans seem like nothing and you never see good progress. Patience is more than just surviving or a will to survive and persist. It is more than waiting.
Patience is about the courage to continue, the strength to smile through pain, and the hope that no matter how rough the weather – the storm will pass. Being patient has a lot to offer.
Zig Ziglar tells the story of a Chinese Bamboo Tree. When this particular seed of the Chinese Bamboo tree is planted, watered and nurtured, for years it doesnt outwardly grow as much as an inch. Nothing happens for the first year. Theres no sign of growth. Not even a hint.
The same thing happens or doesnt happen the second year. And then the third year. The tree is carefully watered and fertilized each year, but nothing shows. No growth. No anything.
So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for this labor or effort. Then, along comes year five. After five years of fertilizing and watering have passed, with nothing to show for it The bamboo tree suddenly sprouts and grows eighty feet in just SIX WEEKS!
Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.
BEING TOO PATIENT?
In his work, Fredrick Nietzsches remarks about patience seem to be birds of different feathers. One interpretation is that, patience is an instrumentally valuable capacity, but the exercise of patience is not always virtuous or, is not always, in Nietzsches view, noble.
A different interpretation is that patience is a virtue, but that the weak person has misappropriated the term patience to describe traits that simply are not themselves expressions of virtue at least not as Nietzsche sees it.
In our everyday language, patience may be used to describe a capacity to remain calm, forbearing, and steadfast when faced with various delays and frustrations, which can be put to virtuous or vicious uses. In this sense, patience simply describes a particular psychological state.
On the other hand, we might reserve the term patience for the virtuous exercise of the capacity to remain calm, forbearing, and steadfast; here patience serves as the name of a virtuous composure.
In the latter sense, we dont have to be too patient, and losing our patience would always be a bad thing. We could call this, the Aristotelian way of patience, since Aristotle prefers to use the virtue terms in view of degrees, on his golden mean as with courage, the corresponding sides reflect cowardice to a lower extent and rashness to a higher extent.
The basic idea is simply that there are situations in which it would be wrong or foolish to wait calmly, or to continue waiting, or to be forbearing and otherwise patient. To be patient at such times would be to permit the stupidity or injustice of others, perhaps to let them walk all over oneself, being an extreme pacifist is not being patient at all.
Through the hell and high water of life, Patience does truly mean power, learning how and when to act patiently is an incredible virtue of self-mastery and an overall attribute of the good life.
The easiest thing you can ever do in any hardship is just give up, anyone can be impatient but, it does take a strong willed, growing individual to fight and embrace the heat of the moment with dignity, knowledge, strength, love and compassion for self and others with patience.
“Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is timing. It waits on the right time to act, for the right principles, and in the right way.”
Fulton J. Sheen