Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
~ Hal Borland
Men learned how to wait long ago. We waited on our parents to approve of us, to love us as we were, to stop drinking, or just to come home from work and give us their attention. Failing that, we waited until we could leave home. We’ve waited on promotions that never came. We’ve waited for answers to our discontent.
We wait, but not patiently. Patience remains a way of being that eludes most of us. Yet we need patience with our healing process, patience with our children. We want to be patient with a spouse who’s trying to recover, one day at a time. We need patience with people in general: the slow driver ahead of us, the person with too many items in the “express” checkout. For this kind of patience, we also need our sense of humor back. And most of all, we need to have patience with ourselves as we learn new ways of relating to and communicating with each other.
Patience is more than a virtue. It’s a necessity if we’re ever going to experience serenity that lasts longer than a few minutes.
Today I renew my effort to treat people I love, and even the people who are strangers to me, with patience and tolerance. I will let them move at their own pace, not mine.
Excerpt from A Quiet Strength: Meditations on the Masculine Soul