Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can – working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardships with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well! – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
If I could capture cultural feelings on patience, I think it would sound like this:
It is good to have patience. It is better not to need it.
We might never actually say that, but that is how we operate. Ask anyone. Would you rather have what you want now, or wait for it? EVERYONE would prefer not to wait. Now is better.
People get rich creating ways to eliminate the wait. We pay extra to expedite any process. We avoid going places we know we’ll have to wait. “Don’t test my patience.” is a familiar warning. And we’ve all been angry and said nasty things when someone did just that.
Why do we avoid needing to be patient?
It seems like the best things in life take time. A beautiful oak tree doesn’t grow overnight. A surfer doesn’t catch the best wave by taking the first one that comes along. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at anything. Waiting is part of the natural process of life. Enduring well is essential to living well.
As I kid, I heard “Good things come to those who wait” and thought it meant I needed to learn patience so that I wouldn’t annoy adults.
The truth is we need patience so that we don’t rob ourselves of life’s best journeys and rewards. If we skip the natural process, we skip the natural joy that it gives. Or worse, create new problems we didn’t have before. Problems that will likely require patience to fix.
Patience isn’t a self-defense weapon we hope we never need to use but have just in case. Patience is a skill we should embrace and use frequently, for our own benefit, to maintain peace and perspective in life.
Where can you be more patient?