“In order to protect angelic character one must have devilish patience” – Unknown
“Moron! he doesn’t know how to drive”, honk! Honk! Hooonkkk!!
“Budge off! I was first in the queue!”
“This dork doesn’t know how to use ATM or what?”
“I am waiting for the last fifteen minutes”
Are you too the one who is “losing patience”? Looks like everyone is. Everyone is in a rush. Rush to live life? Or rush to skip it? Gone are the days of “patience is the virtue”; it’s now changed to “hurry the f*** up”.
Is it wrong that we are being impatient? When letters are being replaced by emails, trunk calls to cellphones, and queues to online shopping, isn’t it obvious that we have “lost” the patience, literally? Level of patience has been decreasing with advent of technologies as we don’t need the same ‘amount’ of patience. Still we claim that we are losing it every day. Is there any left to lose, again literally?
I too used to think that I need to have more of it. Until I realized it’s not my footwear that I need more or I have “lost” it; it’s a skill. I need to use it as and when situation arises. I won’t run out of it ever. If I am getting irritated and shouting at 100 decibels, it’s not ‘coz patience is out of stock, it’s ‘coz I am choosing not to use it.
The best test of patience is, I guess, when you have kids. This is not at all talking from personal experience but yeah, being the eldest kid in my maternal and paternal family, you can say, a close experience. I have seen kids making an interior-designer’s-nirvana-home turn into a battle field. Poor parents are on their toes all the time. Crying all the nights, making a fuss on bathing or in some cases getting out of bath, crying with a reason, without a reason, turning home into a toy-mine area, scribbling with a pink lipstick on your blue walls and after many other inexplicable ‘cute’ ways, they expect you to be cheerful and full of energy. One hint of irritation and bam! comes the extra large pucker face and crying restarts.
I think that is the biggest patience lesson one learn in their life. Maybe when you are ready to take the lesson of patience, that’s when a baby come into your life. But one toothy (or toothless) grin of your cutie-pie and all the toil get rewarded!
Spiritually too, patience is to let things take their due course of time. You interfere with the natural course of completion of cycle; you have to bear with its side-effects. You have to wait till a caterpillar becomes a butterfly; or you would never see one. Patience is precious as it helps to walk on the spiritual path even though we are unable to see evolution. It is the faith that keeps us going. As Paulo Coelho says, “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
Indeed it is difficult; waiting is meant to be difficult. Like Chemistry. Or maybe Mathematics. More than that actually. But there is an unusual feeling in anticipation. Enjoy the anticipation. Recollecting the past stories while waiting for a long-lost friend; goosebumps while waiting for a date; checking the spot daily where you planted a seed; seeing your kid grow everyday amidst all his teenage wrath; relating to a song playing in your car in a traffic jam; living life while forgetting about the future! That’s what patience is.. living in the moment; future will come when it has to. Easier said than done and of course it feels like having the patience of saint, but all things are difficult before they are easy!
But I shouldn’t be praying to God to give me more of it. You know why? ‘Coz when I am asking for it, the Universe is reflecting back the same thing.. More situations that require patience. It’s a honey trap! I can get entangled into a loop of situations-pray patience-situations. Like in the movie, Evan Almighty, God says to Evan: “ Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
So let us ask for faith and smiles. And while you patiently wait for your dreams to come true, imagine them already fulfilled, that makes the cosmos carve the way you envisioned it and makes the wait worthwhile.
Read somewhere: “Of all the things that tax a man’s patience, there’s nothing to compare with a stuck zipper.”