Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one’s character can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Antonyms include hastiness and impetuousness.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.” author=”George-Louis de Buffon”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” author=”John Quincy Adams”/]
What is patience?
Patience is the ability to:
- Sit back and wait for an expected outcome without experiencing anxiety, tension, or frustration.
- Let go of your need for immediate gratification.
- Display tolerance, compassion, understanding, and acceptance toward those who are slower than you in developing maturity, emotional freedom, and coping abilities.
- Accept your human frailty in the pursuit of personal, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Accept the set-backs and reversals inevitable in your quest for personal growth.
- Believe in the concepts of permanence and commitment. Be calm and considerate as you handle the growth issues in your committed relationships in marriage, family, career, community, or church.
- Hang on to a relationship when trouble arises that may take some time to resolve.
- Feel peace, contentment, and satisfaction that you are on the path to recovery and personal growth.
- Temper your enthusiasm, energy, exuberance, and excitement after you have experienced a renewal of spirit, received revelations or insights.
- Accept the non-enthusiastic reception of others to share in your “new found truths.”
- Accept that there is no need to rush yourself or others in facing the challenges of emotional growth.
- See that overnight reformations are rarely long lasting; gradual change and growth have a greater durability.
- Feel relaxed, calm, and placid as you face your daily schedule and the challenges it presents.
To increase your level of patience you need to:
- Develop a consistent philosophy of life. Take life one day at a time. Consider each day a gift of life that will allow you to get one step closer to your goal of growth and change.
- Accept the reality of your humanity in that you are going to need time, effort, and energy to change and grow. You will experience some resistance to altering long standing, habitual ways of acting, reacting, and believing.
- Reframe your perspective on the past, present, and future. Do not dwell on your past mistakes and failings. Do not worry about what you will become or how you will act in the future. Begin to live each new day as a fresh start.
- Break larger goals down into components that are short term goals and objectives, more realistically attainable in the immediate future.
- Accept, understand, and forgive yourself for being fragile, imperfect, and weak. You need to become your own best friend and cheerleader. Love yourself.
- Wake up to the realities of life around you. Everyone with whom you come in contact is busy working through their own struggles, weaknesses, setbacks, relapses, crises, and obstacles to their personal growth and recovery. All of us are on the path to personal growth. There is no one exempt from this journey. It takes a lifetime to complete.
- Hand over and let go of the worries, concerns, anxieties, and doubts about attaining your goal.
- Confront your fears about attaining your goal. Remember, the world was not created in a day. Beautiful symphonies, works of art, and literary masterpieces were not created in a day. A lifetime is not lived in a day.
Patience from a religious perspective
Patience is often described as a core virtue in religion or spiritual practices. For example, Job is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and the Qur’an; his story is considered a profound religious work. At its core, the theme is the co-existence of evil and good and the application of patience is highlighted as the antidote to the earthly struggles caused by that co-existence. The plot of the book is that Job endures near-apocalyptic calamities without losing his patience or reproaching his Creator.
Patience and fortitude are prominent themes in Judaism. In the Hebrew Bible:
- “The patient man shows much good sense, but the quick-tempered man displays folly at its height.”
- “An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord.”
- “A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city.”
- “Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not in spirit become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool.”
Patience in Christianity
In the Christian religion, patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life. While patience is not one of the traditional biblical three theological virtues nor one of the traditional four cardinal virtues, it is one of the seven virtues, alongside chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness, and humility.
In the Christian Bible, patience is referred to in several sections. The Book of Proverbs notes that “through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone”; Ecclesiastes points out that the “end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride”; and Thessalonians states that we should “be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all”. In the Epistle of James, the Bible urges Christians to be patient, and ” see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,…until it receives the early and the late rains.”. In Galatians, patience is listed as one of the “fruit of the Spirit”: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”. In Timothy, the Bible states that “Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life”.
Islamic view on patience
Patience in Islam is one of the best and most valuable virtues of life. Through patience, a Muslim believes that an individual can grow closer to Allah and thus attain true peace. It is also stressed in Islam, that Allah is with those who are patient. The Quran states that Muslims should “Persevere in patience and constancy” and “be steadfast in patience”. It notes that “No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune.”
The Muslim faith believes that without a good spirit while enduring, the struggle will not bear its full reward, thus, Patiently persevering, striving and going forward, despite the difficulty, is the pinnacle of behavior during challenging times. Through every difficulty, Allah promises, there will be found relief upon its conclusion. Instead of wanting to skip challenging times, and avoid them, Allah is teaching that the way to the easing, is through, the difficulty. It takes patient perseverance, or enduring with a good spirit still intact, in order to reap both the internal and external rewards of struggle.
In Buddhism, patience is one of the “perfections” that a bodhisattva trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment. Patience is recognized within Hinduism in the Bhagavad Gita. In both Hinduism and Buddhism there is a particular emphasis on meditation, aspects of which lead to a natural state of mindfulness that is conducive to patient, effective and well-organized thought.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.” author=”W. H. Auden”/]
Patience in Psychology
In evolutionary psychology and in cognitive neuroscience, patience is studied as a decision-making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in a short span of time, or a more valuable reward after a long period of time. All animals, humans included, are inclined to discount future rewards—the present value of delayed rewards is viewed as less than the value of immediate rewards.
In a 2005 study involving common marmosets and cottontop tamarins, animals of both species faced a self-control paradigm in which individuals chose between taking an immediate small reward and waiting a variable amount of time for a large reward. Under these conditions, marmosets waited significantly longer for food than tamarins. This difference cannot be explained by life history, social behavior or brain size. It can, however, be explained by feeding ecology: marmosets rely on gum, a food product acquired by waiting for exudate to flow from trees, whereas tamarins feed on insects, a food product requiring impulsive action. Foraging ecology, therefore, may provide a selective pressure for creating of self-control in animals.
In the 1960s, a professor at Stanford University began a modest experiment testing the willpower of four-year-old children. He placed before them a large marshmallow and then told them they could eat it right away or, if they waited for 15 minutes, they could have two marshmallows.
He then left the children alone and watched what happened behind a two-way mirror. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately; some could wait only a few minutes before giving in to temptation. Only 30 percent were able to wait.
It was a mildly interesting experiment, and the professor moved on to other areas of research, for, in his own words, “there are only so many things you can do with kids trying not to eat marshmallows.” But as time went on, he kept track of the children and began to notice an interesting correlation: the children who could not wait struggled later in life and had more behavioral problems, while those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships.
What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.” author=”Mac McCleary”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” author=”Franklin P. Jones”/]
Patience and Marriage
When long-married couples are asked the recipe for marital success, many identify patience as a key ingredient. It’s the indispensable virtue for living together day after day in relative peace, without constant struggles to change the other to our liking.
Patience in marriage begins with the individual. Our daily routine gives us ample opportunity to practice patience: waiting at the drive-through window, teaching our child a soccer skill, or learning a new computer application. As we grow in patience outside the home, we bring the virtue into the home. Patience with co-workers and store clerks translates into patience with my spouse and children. Sometimes, the answer to the question “What have I done for my marriage today?” is “When I got caught in the traffic jam I used it as a chance to practice patience.”
St. Francis de Sales reminds us that we must be patient with everyone, but especially with ourselves. Our faults and failings may tempt us to reproach ourselves harshly and give in to frustration, even despair. Instead, says St. Francis, we need to pick up and move on, trusting that we will do better next time. If we learn to treat ourselves gently, we will be more likely to extend that same charity and understanding to our spouse.
Within marriage, patience means discerning what needs to be changed and what needs to be tolerated. On our wedding day we probably considered our spouse practically perfect—then we immediately set out to improve him or her. Of course, we quickly found out that he or she didn’t necessarily want to be improved. In fact, they probably had ideas for our own improvement!
Some behaviors and personal characteristics resist change. Other behaviors need to be challenged for the good of the marriage. Patience can help to make the challenge effective. One evening, as Mary was paying the bills she found out that Tom had again charged too much to their credit cards. His reckless spending threatened their financial stability. Mary’s first impulse was to storm into the family room and confront Tom. Instead, she gave herself a couple days to calm down. She developed a strategy to hold both of them financially accountable. When she finally approached Tom, she chose a Saturday morning when they were well-rested and could hear what each other was saying.
Some behaviors, such as domestic violence, should never be tolerated. Abuse victims sometimes believe that if they are patient, the abuse will eventually end. Rather, abuse tends to escalate over time and only stops with outside intervention.
In addition to being patient with each other, couples need to be patient with the marriage itself. Healthy marriages grow and change. Social scientists point out that a couple can go through seven or more stages of marriage throughout a lifetime. Some stages hold excitement and promise: a child arrives or the couple moves into their dream home.
Inevitably, however, couples go through periods of disillusionment and boredom. They may find their spouse unappealing and wonder how they can ever spend the rest of their life with this person. Sometimes a couple may even consider divorce.
These stages, although difficult, are normal. With patience, a couple can work through them and emerge into the next stage with a deepened appreciation of each other and the marriage.
Like marriage itself, patience is the work of a lifetime. Each day brings a small opportunity to cultivate the virtue and to grow one’s marriage.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Beware the fury of a patient man.” author=”John Dryden”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is a most necessary qualification for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.” author=”Lord Chesterfield”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is the companion of wisdom.” author=”St. Augustine”/]
The Virtue of Patience
Most of us recognize that patience is one of the cardinal virtues – we’re just in no hurry to obtain it. Others just define patience as a delay in getting what we want. As Margaret Thatcher once famously remarked: “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” In today’s fast-paced society and self-centered culture, patience is quickly disappearing. Patience must be one of the hallmarks of the Virtuous home, as each member of the family shows patience in dealing with others. Husbands and wives must be patient with each other, even as parents must be patient with children.
It would serve us well to remember that the virtue of patience is rooted in our understanding of time and eternity. We do not expect to achieve our greatest satisfactions in this life. Relating to our fellow man, we know that they, like ourselves, will experience full sanctification and glorification only in the age to come. As John Calvin remarked, immortality is “the mother of patience.” This is a good and healthy reminder.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is also a form of action.” author=”Auguste Rodin”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” author=”William Shakespeare”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.” author=”Michel de Montaigne”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” author=”Chinese Proverb”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/]
“I want it and I want it now”. – The lost art of Patience
By James Lehman
Almost as soon as your child begins to talk, you’ll start to hear him ask for things. In fact, when an infant cries, he’s asking for food or to be made more comfortable. By the time he reaches the age of four or five, his constant refrain becomes: “Can I have this, Mom? Can I have that?” The unending requests for new toys or candy and an “I want it now” attitude may follow you every time you go to the store. Parents want to give to their kids for many reasons. It’s partly instinctual—back in the Stone Age, “giving to your child” might have meant providing food, shelter and protection. Those urges are still there. Unfortunately, if you give in to every little want and need your child expresses, you are really feeding and nurturing a sense of false entitlement—which I believe can lead to problems later on.
It’s important to keep in mind that parents and kids get some powerful messages in our society. One of the most prevalent is, “The more you give your child, the better parent you are.” Children are also led to believe they’re entitled to receive. Commercials, TV shows, movies, and their friends at school all tell kids, “This is the new thing. This is what everybody’s getting. If you don’t have it, you won’t be cool.” So it’s easy for you as a parent to feel obligated to give to your child—and pretty soon, your child will grow to expect it. This can lead to parents giving much more than their kids need—and sometimes, more than their family can really afford.
Children also get a false sense of entitlement by being overly praised for things, and rewarded for tasks that they should be doing as a matter of course. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding achievement and excellence, but it becomes a problem when you reward mediocre efforts.
There are lots of parents out there today who have the following fantasy: they imagine their child talking to their friends, saying, “My parents are great. They got me these new sneakers.” Or, “My dad’s the best—he bought me this new cell phone.” Maybe your child is saying that, and maybe he’s not. Regardless, this thought often makes parents feel proud and good about themselves, and it motivates them to spend more than is good or necessary. There are those parents who want to be their child’s friend—and consequently, they will often buy their child things because they’re afraid they’ll lose the friendship. This pattern may continue until the child reaches young adulthood. By that time, he firmly believes that his parents “owe” him whatever he wants. So the confluence of instinct and social pressure—and the need to be liked by their kids—can often make parents overindulge their children.
The way you give to your children can either help them develop a sense of ownership by earning things, or nurture a sense of false entitlement because they’re usually getting what they want, when they want it. And when kids grow up with a false sense of entitlement, you’ll see them thinking they’re entitled to expensive toys, electronic gadgets, trips and cars without having to earn them. They will do poorly in school and still want that car when they turn 18—and expect to get it. They’ll even tell their parents there’s something wrong with them if they don’t give them what they want, regardless of the family’s financial situation.
So how do you challenge that false sense of entitlement in kids, and why is it so important to do so? It’s critical to challenge them because once your child grows up and goes out into the real world, he will have to work for what he wants, just like everyone else. So as a parent, it’s important that you teach your child the value of hard work and earning things. He needs to really see that integral connection between making an effort and achieving success. Conversely, when things are handed to your child, the message he’s getting is, “You don’t need to do anything—everything will be given to you in life just because you’re you.”
Techniques for lowering the False Sense of Entitlement in Kids:
- Ask yourself, “What do I want my children to learn about money and work to achieve success in life?” And then come up with a procedure that will teach them about finances. Some concepts which I think are important to teach from a young age are: Money doesn’t come easily. People work hard to earn money; it’s part of life. If you want something, you need to work to earn it. You are not entitled to things you haven’t earned.
- Break “work ethic” concepts down for your child. You can say, “You can’t make a video game yourself. But when you’re old enough, you can work at Wendy’s for a week and get enough money to buy a video game somebody else made.” You can take it one step further by asking, “And why did they make that video game? So they could earn enough money to eat at Wendy’s.” Use the teaching role to help your child start connecting the dots. Think about what you want your child to learn and what you want him to take away from the conversation, because that is going to set the tone for the way he thinks about what he earns—and what you give him—from now on.
- Set Some Limits on Giving to Your Kids. It’s important to put limits on what you give your children. Don’t feel as if you need to give them every little thing they ask for, even if “all the other kids have one.” I think it’s also a good idea to talk to your kids and let them know that you don’t have an infinite supply of money at your fingertips. Tell them from an early age that you and/or your spouse work to make money to support your family. Try to explain that you trade your time for money in order to take care of your household.
- When your child asks for things, I think it’s perfectly fine to say, “You’re welcome to buy that with your birthday money,” or “Why don’t you put that on your Christmas list?” Or, “Why don’t you save up your allowance money and buy it?” Saying “no” to your child does not make you a bad or uncaring parent—it just makes you a practical one who wants to teach your child to understand money in a more realistic way.
- Tell Your Child the New Rules. Let’s say that up until now you’ve been giving your child whatever he wants without expecting him to work for it. If you want to give your kids money or things, I think it’s important to come up with a system where you can deliver the goods to them in such a way that they feel like they’ve earned them. In my opinion, paying for extra work around the house is better than giving an allowance, because it gives you more flexibility as you reward them.
- Sit down and have a frank discussion with your kids about money.[spacer size=”10″]a. Younger Kids: For younger children and pre-teens I think you can say something like, “Listen, I want you to learn how to earn some of the things you want by doing extra work around the house. I don’t mean by doing your regular chores, like setting the table or doing the dishes. So for instance, you could mow the lawn, shovel the walk when it snows, or clean my car when it’s dirty. Instead of giving you an allowance, I’m going to pay you to do these things. We’re going to start this Saturday. If you want to earn money, you’ll have to see me Saturday morning to find out what you can do.” Then, determine how much you want to pay him for these jobs and make sure it’s within your budget.[spacer size=”10″]b. Adolescents: When you talk with adolescents, you can expect a serious reaction to your words, especially if they’ve come to expect to get things without having to earn them. After all, they’re probably very happy with the way things are right now, and they may balk at the idea of having to work for what you give them. The way you prepare for that is by saying to your child, “I have something that I need to talk to you about that’s really affecting our finances. You’re going to have to keep an open mind and be mature during this conversation. So why don’t we get together at four o’clock. When we talk to teenagers and young adults, we have to be as persuasive as we can be. So when you speak to your teen, try to put things in his best interests: “I want to help you earn some cash because I know you really want to buy that new video game. Here’s how you can make some extra money around the house.” If your child refuses to do odd jobs around the house, the next time he asks for things, you can simply say, “You know how you can earn that new cell phone. When you’re ready to clean out the garage, I can pay you and you can start saving up.”
- Have Your Child Work to Earn Money. If you have the financial capability and you believe in the concept of paying kids to do work around the house, I personally think it’s better to give your child money for doing odd jobs rather than give him a weekly allowance. This way, your child will learn how to manage his finances, and he will also make the connection between work and payment. So let’s say your child gets $10 a week for mowing the lawn. (By the way, he shouldn’t receive this money until the lawn is done.) Then if he wants a video game that costs $50, he has to save for it—that’s how you develop a sense of earned entitlement. Later, a job at Wendy’s making $6 an hour will look really good to your child. He’ll take that job for 12 hours a week part-time, because he’ll understand that it will bring him $70 a week. He’ll be able to buy a new video game every week if he wants to, and he’ll be entitled to do so because he earned it.
- If Your Child Doesn’t Comply, Pay Their Siblings to Do the Work. It’s important for your child to understand when you’re giving him a gift. To put it simply, he needs to realize that he’s not simply entitled to whatever you give him. How do you do this? This one is a piece of cake. You just say clearly, “I wanted to give you something extra.” Or “Here’s a gift from your mother and me.” Be sure to differentiate this from the money you give him for allowance, or the money he might earn from getting on the Dean’s list at school.
Remember, the danger is not having a sense of entitlement; the danger is having a false sense of entitlement. People who have this mindset often hold a negative view of hard work—they put it down and ridicule it. They think they deserve things they haven’t earned, and they can develop contempt for people who work to earn things.
I believe that a false sense of entitlement affects every strata of society today. Kids who grow up this way don’t want the jobs that are available because they have the belief that they’re entitled to something better without having to make an effort. So that false sense of entitlement prohibits them from getting the work skills and the social skills they need to start at the bottom and work their way up.
When kids have a false sense of entitlement, they don’t see the world in real terms. When money and material goods have been handed to them their whole lives, the danger is that they won’t have the idea that they should work hard to achieve their goals. Their view of the world will be, “If I want it, someone will give it to me”—but as we all know, that’s just not the way the world functions. Once you leave your parents’ house, it’s up to you to make an effort to achieve some success in life. Sadly, you will often see older children living with their parents into adulthood, because that’s where things are easiest for them. But make no bones about it, that skewed view of the world is going to affect them in a negative way their whole lives.
The good news is that you can start teaching your child now about what it means to work hard to achieve goals in life—before it’s too late.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Slow and steady wins the race.” author=”Aesop”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”With close-lipped Patience for our only friend, Sad Patience, too near neighbor to Despair.” author=”Matthew Arnold”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?” author=”Paul Sweeney”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead.” author=”Mac McCleary”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.” author=”George-Louis de Buffon”/]
A Different Perspective on Patience
Patience is not a popular subject for our, “I want it now” microwave society. Patience conjures up all kinds of thoughts like, “I might not get it”; “It might take too long”; “I might forget it”, even worse. Ah, but patience is a major factor in making our dreams come true. As I have given patience a lot of thought in my own life, here is what I have discovered. See if this pattern seems familiar to you.
Sometimes I get what I want right away.
Sometimes I get what I want days, weeks, months, and sometime years later.
Sometimes I don’t get what I want but what I really needed, much later.
Sometimes I don’t get what I wanted, or what I needed, but got what was best for me, much later.
Well, every time I get what I want right away, I’m just a little taken back by it. I always seem to “expect” to wait for some period of time. It just seems to be the way the universe deals with us. When something comes right away, we forget that triumph very fast and are on to the next deal.
The absolute optimum way to live would to be able to control the timing of everything that happens to us. But, we can’t. On the other side of the coin, if everything were to just fall on us like ripe apples off a tree, we would be running all over town trying to avoid being knocked out by all the falling apples.
You’ve heard it said before, “God’s delays are not God’s denials”. I believe that’s true. Patience has character building power within it. Patience takes the impossibilities of life and turns them into realities. Patience can also make you feel like taking a long walk off a short pier sometimes.
Waiting Always Takes Too Long!
That’s the part of patience I want to help give you a different perspective on. Patience was designed to help us grow; to help us develop compassion and empathy, and make us strong. Not, to tear us down, to destroy our dreams, or make us wonder if our goals and objectives will ever be realized.
If you look at patience like this it might help: It was not meant to make life hard on you. Of course life is hard, that’s why they pay you the big bucks. Patience is part of our lives because God’s timing is always better than ours. Now think about it. If you had your way, how many times would you choose to wait for something you really wanted or needed?
Your timing would always be, “I want it now”! And, if it was something that’s not desirable, your timing would be to wait, and wait, and wait. So, the universe comes on the scene and says, “Wait, you’re moving too fast”. And we say, “No I’m not, you are moving too slowly”.
And since the universe always has the final word, we find ourselves, waiting! And, because timing is so crucial to everything in the universe, we tend to have a hard time understanding what good it is doing us, “waiting”.
We don’t like waiting on truly “Deep Designs”. We would rather the “Plan” be simple and quick. But don’t you remember…all the good stuff takes time!
Waiting bothers us because we don’t know exactly what’s on the other end. It might turn out to be something better than sliced bread, or, I might find myself in a bucket of crap!
I personally believe that patience is part of God’s way of helping us grow. We are always left with a way out. We just need to be patient enough to wait for that door (or window) to open. Without patience there is a higher and better good that would not be possible in your life. And, that is the power of faith and hope.
Without patience you would have no hope. Everything you wanted would just fall on you. Without patience you would have no faith. All your dreams would materialize instantly.
I can’t imagine living a life with no hope and no faith…how about you?[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” author=”John Quincy Adams”/]
Good things come to those who wait. Why is it that our young people can’t seem to wait for anything? They want instant gratification. They seem to all have lowered capacities for episodic future thought, the ability to bypass the “instant” and make choices that will yield higher long term benefits. I contend that it is our technology that has caused this. Today’s youth have been so saturated with video games and realistic visual technology that they have diminished imaginations. You don’t have to use your imagination when everything (and I mean everything!) happens right there on the screen in front of you. Having diminished imaginations makes it harder for our kids to envision the future. To envision a better future. To bypass short term gratification and patiently wait for a better long term benefit. Why should they wait if they can’t envision the future? All they see is here and now.
So how do we help them?
- Turn off that video game, get them to read a book, and start using their imaginations again.
- We can do a better job of teaching kids about the difference between temporal and eternal.
- We can do a better job of painting vivid pictures for our kids of both the benefits of patience and long term rewards, as well as the ugliness and painful consequences of a lifestyle of instant gratification.
We can do a tremendous service for our kids by helping them re-engage their imaginations and put them to work envisioning better futures. Let’s teach them about patience and the rewards it brings.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”If people can be open-minded and magnanimous, be receptive to all, take pity on the poor and the old, assist those in peril and rescue those in trouble, give of themselves without seeking reward, never bear grudges, look upon others and self impartially, and realize all as one, then people can be companions of heaven. If people can be flexible and yielding, humble, with self-control, entirely free of agitation, cleared out all volatility, not angered by criticism, ignoring insult, docilely accepting all hardships, illnesses, and natural disasters, utterly without anxiety or resentment when faced with danger or adversity, then people can be companions of the earth. With the nobility of heaven and the humility of earth, one joins in with the attributes of heaven and earth and extends to eternity with them.” author=”Liu I ming”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often.” author=”Publius Ovidius”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”If you have patience, then you’ll also have love. Patience leads to love. If you forcefully open the petals of a bud, you won’t be able to enjoy its beauty and fragrance. Only when it blossoms by following its natural course, will the beauty and fragrance of a flower unfold.” author=”Amma”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things…Things must happen when it is time for them to happen.” author=”Peter S. Beagle”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Leadership is seeing the oak tree in the acorn and being patient enough to wait.” author=”Mario Cortes”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” author=”William Arthur Ward”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”But let patience have perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” author=”James 1:4″/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. ” author=”Hal Borland”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down patiently and quietly, may alight upon you.” author=”Nathaniel Hawthorne”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day’s performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.” author=”Margaret Fuller”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Be still, and the world is bound to turn herself inside out to entertain you. Everywhere you look, joyful noise is clanging to drown out quiet desperation.” author=”Barbara Kingsolver”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Take more time, cover less ground.” author=”Thomas Merton”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”What cannot be achieved in one lifetime will happen when one lifetime is joined to another.” author=”Harold Kushner”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience turns a very short time into a long one.” author=”St. Teresa of Avila”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something. The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind.” author=”Thomas Carlyle”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Do not despair at making no progress. The feeling of despair is also one of the lessons on the road to the Self.” author=”Sage Yogaswami”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures… Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living.” author=”John F. Kennedy”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” author=”Lao Tse”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better.” author=”Hermann Hesse”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” author=”Linda Hogan”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.” author=”Charlie Brown (Charles Schultz)”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.” author=”St. Francis of Assisi”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!” author=”Abraham Lincoln”/]
Immortality truly is the mother of patience
Be Patient? Well how much time do we have? John Calvin once said that “Immortality is the mother of patience.” He was right on and touched the essence of the virtue of patience. Do you believe that your soul is going to perish with your body, or do you believe that your soul will live for eternity? Pick one. It’s the question of the ages for mankind. If this life is temporal then you had better not be patient. You had better grab all you can while you are still here. If however, our souls are eternal, then that changes everything. With eternity looming on the horizon, time and patience take on an entirely new significance. I can then make the decision to bypass instant temporal gratifications and invest (by being virtuous now) in positioning my soul to receive higher long term benefits. I can be patient. I can be patient with myself. I can be patient with others, knowing all the while that satisfaction will never be achieved in this temporal life, so I will wait for full consumption in eternity. It’s a better investment. In today’s fast paced, self-centered, consumerist culture, patience is almost non-existent. I think we should be continually reminding ourselves of our “eternal investment strategy”. Short run or long haul? Pick one, you can’t have both. Immortality truly is the mother of patience!
Patience is like getting a haircut
We all have been at the point of frustration at some time in our life. You know that place where you feel like you are stuck and you can’t move forward. I am talking about that place where we know we need to shave, cut, clip or wax some people, things, and behaviors out of our lives but instead we hold on to them. Instead of getting out there to hustle, we would rather throw a tantrum, complaining about how things never go our way, or put the blame on everyone else but ourselves.
Our life experiences can be just like getting a haircut. Patience is the key.
We have got to learn to be patient and wait for our season. Success in anything takes time. You have to be molded, shaped and transformed to look like a completely different person than you were when the haircut started. What good is going to the barber if you come out looking the same.
In your life, you may feel like you are being overlooked. There might even be some things you think you are entitled to. In your own eyes you are ready to walk the red carpet but in reality there is toilet paper stuck on the bottom of your shoe.
I have a secret I have to share with you. All things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. If we learn to not rush through our lives and give the barber a chance to finish our haircut, we can come out looking better than we ever had our entire life.
So, no matter how long you have been waiting, stay in the chair. This is a great opportunity to observe the scenery and learn from the experience of others in the shop.
All that wiggling, whining and complaining does…. is get you a bad haircut.
PATIENCE AND CONDEMNATION
We all need to use more patience when it comes to condemning others for their wrongdoings.
Remember the story? At dawn Jesus appeared again in the temple courts; where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus just bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Patience is built on the foundation of our knowledge of ourselves as being just as capable of “vice” as we are “virtue”. We must constantly remain in touch with our own frailty and our own faults. Only then are we able to patiently deal with our fellow man out of humility rather than pride. Virtuous men and women have no excuse for responding to others in a spirit of arrogance, haughtiness, or superiority. We need to be patient with others when they fall victim to vice, knowing all the while that we ourselves (in our own special ways!) are just as capable of failing. Patience is rooted in the humility of our own faults. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Patience compels us to put down that stone and step away from the crowd of onlookers ready to condemn people for their wrongdoings.[do action=”vfquote” quote=”True patience is waiting without worrying.” author=”C. Swindoll”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.” author=”Leonardo da Vinci”/]
Patience is a virtue,
Possess it if you can.
Found seldom in a woman,
Never in a man.
Run With Endurance
George Matheson wrote, “We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harder — the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks. The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in the sickbed but in the street.” To wait is hard, to do it with “good courage” is harder![do action=”vfquote” quote=”A coin makes a thousand coins in a thousand days. In time, a rope may saw through a tree, and dripping water can wear away stone.” author=”Zhang Guiya”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience in the present, faith in the future, and joy in the doing.” author=”George Perera”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, What would you do it you were suddenly to learn that you were to die at sunset today? He replied, I would finish hoeing my garden.” author=”Unknown”/]
Abraham and the Old Man
By Thomas Lindberg
According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man, weary from age and journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There he washed the old man’s feet and gave him food and drink.
The old man immediately began eating without saying any prayer or blessing. So Abraham asked him, “Don’t you worship God?”
The old traveler replied, “I worship fire only and reverence no other god.”
When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out of his tent into the cold night air.
When the old man had departed, God called to his friend Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, “I forced him out because he did not worship you.”
God answered, “I have suffered him these eighty years although he dishonors me. Could you not endure him one night?”
JAPANESE JUDO MASTER
There was a young man who was in a horrible accident. It left him without his left arm. He was a valiant guy, though, and never let that stop him. He decided to take up judo. He began his lessons with an old Japanese judo master. He was a good coach and the young man knew it. He decided he would do his best to always listen to his coach and try to do everything he asked of him. But after three months he began to get frustrated because his coach had only taught him one move. He finally broke down one day, “Coach aren’t there any more moves I can learn?” “That is the only move you need to know,” was the answer he got. He didn’t really understand but he humbly kept training. About a year later it was time for his tournament. The young man was amazed at how easily he won first two contests. The third one was a bit more challenging but still won when his opponent got impatient and charged imprudently. He used his one move yet again and won the match. This put him in the finals. Everyone was amazed – one arm, first tournament, the finals everyone except his coach. The final match was kind of scary. His opponent was bigger, faster, stronger and very experienced. The match got ugly quick so ugly that the ref called a time-out at one point. “Keep going, you are doing fine,” his coach reassured him. “If he drops his guard, attack.” As the contest continued, the young man patiently waited to see if he would drop his guard even for a second. His opponent made that critical mistake. He made the only move he had learned and he pinned him . He won his very first tournament. On the way home the young man just couldn’t hold in his curiosity any longer. “Coach how did I win with only one move?” His coach answered him not the least bit surprised that he won, “It ‘s really quite simple. First, you have almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
The ability to suppress restlessness when delayed. Waiting without complaint.
Share the following quotes with students:[do action=”vfquote” quote=”He that can have patience can have what he will.” author=”Benjamin Franklin”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Genius is eternal patience.” author=”Michelangelo”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is the companion of wisdom.” author=”Saint Augustine”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” author=”Jean-Jacques Rousseau”/]
Show students the short Youtube clip called “The Marshmallow Test” and discuss the questions below.[media url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y6R5boDqh4&feature=fvst” width=”770″ height=”433″]
1. What correlation did researchers find between children who could wait and attributes they possessed later in life?
Answer: The longer they could wait at age four, the more likely they were to possess the following attributes:
- Better able to control themselves
- More successful at pursuing goals
- Better at managing frustration and stress
- Less drug use
- Higher education level attained
- Better self esteem
2. What is the difference between patience and procrastination?
3. When is it most difficult for you to show patience?
4. How are people rewarded by exercising patience?