My mother used to tell me that she always knew I would be in a hurry for the rest of my life. She laughingly said that if the doctor had not been standing where he was when I was born, I would’ve been splattered against the far wall. I was in a hurry to be born. She said her labour lasted minutes. That explains so much about my personality. Patience is a virtue with which I’m only slightly familiar. But I’m working on it.
We live in a fast pace world where everything appears to be done in second gear, at least. News is instantaneous and we barely have a moment to process before we’re onto the next big thing. Highways are filled with people rushing to get to work, rushing to get to their shopping, in a hurry to get to the baseball game. Always in a hurry. What do we need patience for? Well, it seems to me like we’re always being told to hurry up and get in line just to wait. And to wait.
When I was a child, I was impatient with everything. I wanted to be older, taller, wiser. And I didn’t like waiting for it to happen naturally. Well since nature will not be coerced, I got there eventually. Now that I am significantly farther down the natural life line, I look back with amusement. And I have a different understanding of patience.
The physical world will always move at its own pace. People require things to be done on their timelines and the world will wait for no one. But inside, in the recesses of your mind, is where real patience is important. That is where we truly have control, where we can be the directors of our own conscience.
I think the people I admire the most are the ones who are able to live in both worlds. The fast-paced physical world and the more calming cerebral one. These are the people who can process and understand the breakneck speed in which we live and are capable of responding appropriately. We need leaders who are capable of this while still holding onto compassion and integrity. Heady stuff. But isn’t that what life is all about? We should face the unknown with anticipation and with confidence. I’m always curious to see what the next page has to say.
Of course, I also have no problem sitting back and relaxing with a good book and letting the world move on without me.