So the word of late, is patience.
Ahhh patience, that elusive ability to accept the timing of all things without reverting to the behavior of a “hangry” 2-year old.
dictionaries remind us that it is an ability or a habit that
allows one to go through setbacks and difficulties without foul
feelings, foul language, or punching someone’s lights out.
Now courage? Courage is sexy, it is a (dare I say it?) “virtue” that smells like cardamon and summer sweat on bare skin. And if it had teeth…surely some glint of light would bounce off of its blinding whiteness.
Patience? Not so much with the sexy. And while challenging to practice; it is beautiful when witnessed, a protection against back tracking and as simple and necessary as a spork.
Walk with me, will you, through the wonderful world of cutlery. Forks? They get the job done, straight to the pie hole. Knives? They make stuff fit in the pie hole by cutting it up into smaller pieces. Sporks, like patience, feel a little silly but make life less complicated and can be hung from ones nose just because it feels good.
I won’t lie, I have not quite gotten to the PHd level where practicing patience actually feels good. There is still a lot of groaning, eye rolling and tantrum styled flopping about (both literally and figuratively) that occur on a daily basis. Standing behind a fellow shopper at the co-op who feels the need to share their story about the restorative benefits of spirulina to the cashier causes my knees to buckle. A round-a-bout virgin will cause me to clutch the steering wheel and loudly, colorfully critique one’s parental ability. Being on hold with a customer service representative for the 3rd time, whose helpfulness outweighs their knowledge? OY! All these interactions require, yep you guessed it…the spork of virtues: patience or as they use say in the olden, olden days- long suffering.
When impatience sucker punches patience; it’s not pretty whether it is a so-called stranger, a pet, partner or your child, the after effects are usually yucky requiring apology and a cheek burning awareness that “yes, I can be that much of an ass”. Apologies to all donkeys reading this.
The thing about this zany world of virtues is that opportunities abound for their practice. There are not only plenty of volunteer positions available, but crisp cash paying virtue positions available to those not even looking for a job. And what makes the practice of patience so challenging is that doing it well doesn’t feel any better than doing it, not well. Both are equally challenging.
So after many daily scraps with impatience and embarrassing attempts to woo patience. I brush off my knees and attempt to stand tall, only to get back on my knees and raise my voice to the heavens, ” A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!”
Hopefully, whoever is listening is not rolling their eyes.