A man was walking through a grocery store with a screaming baby in the shopping cart. A woman nearby noticed that time and time again the man would calmly say: “Keep calm, Billy. Keep calm, Billy. Finally, in admiration for the man’s patience as the child continued to wail, the woman walked up to him and said: “Sir, I must commend you for your patience with baby Billy.” To which the man replied, “Ma’am, I’m Billy!”
Patience is a virtue, they have always told me. It’s something we all strive to have, but don’t always live up to. I have been trying to become more patient recently because I am not a very patient person. When I run into a train on the way to work I get upset, when the coffee is boiling and bubbling I pace in front of it. When I am an expectant father and we are a week after the due date I go insane. Why is it so hard to wait? Here are a few reasons I have trouble being patient.
- Uncertainty: “What if” I don’t know about you but what if is a go to phrase for me when I am waiting for something. There are many paths in life and we don’t always know what’s around the corner.
- Control: “All you can do is wait” This one is painful and is only amplified if what you are waiting for is important. Not having control in a stressful time makes me feel helpless, nervous and even angry sometimes.
- Fast pace culture: “Hurry up and wait” Our culture is all about instant results. We have fast food on every corner, entertainment at our fingertips at all times and the ability to talk to anyone we want to at the touch of a button. When things slow down or even stop it doesn’t feel normal we aren’t use to it.
People who are patient make better decisions and usually have more stable lives. The quick and easy route is not always the best one. Patience is less stressful, as you won’t be worrying or fretting over something you can’t do anything about in the first place. If you are patient you will also be more compassionate to those around you. Patience is hard and we aren’t born with it. It’s something we have to grow. Trust me, life will definitely give you the opportunity. Don’t take easy street when the road to patience is lined with gold. We all have to be patient sometimes but in the end it is worth it.