How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
~William Shakespeare, Othello, 1604
Our previous post was the – long slow transformation of human nature, so I guess a topic on patience is the ideal follow up.
Patience is not exactly the most exciting quality to aspire for. In modern society, patience doesn’t fit well with the hectic pace of life where we become accustomed to quick fixes and on demand entertainment. A society that lives on 2 minute pot noodles and instant text messaging is going to struggle with any ideas of patience. But, for real progress and peace of mind, patience is an indispensable quality. Through patience we can also develop peace of mind and tolerance of others.
Patience With Ourselves
One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.
~ Chinese Proverb
There is a fine balance between self-indulgence and self-criticism. We need to have patience with ourselves, whilst seeking to become a better person. Some things we cannot expect overnight; we have to do our part which is striving for higher ideals, but, the time when we gain self-mastery is another matter. If we start beating ourselves up for failing to reach imaginary targets, then we only make it even more difficult. If we can maintain a cheerful attitude, without expectation of a certain result then we will make more progress.
The Journey and the Goal.
There is a danger society and our life becomes very results oriented. Success or failure is measured through certain definable goals. With this attitude, achieving the goal becomes all important, everything else is seen as a failure. Patience teaches us that the achievement of the goal is only a partial aspect of life. Patience teaches us to enjoy the journey as much as the results. Thus, we can gain satisfaction from the preparation as much as the goal.
Patience With Others
Patience with others can be either very easy or very difficult. It is very difficult to be patient with others if we expect them to behave in a certain way and meet our self-imposed standards. If we accept we are not responsible for others inner progress then patience becomes much easier. (see: getting on with difficult people)
Patience Can Forget The Past
“There is nothing on earth that can undo the past but patience. If we have patience we can easily undo the past. The past is a morning mist, a meaningless experience in comparison to our future realisation.”
– Sri Chinmoy 
We always do things we regret, but, through patience we can easily let the past slip away. Time is a great healer and we just need to be patient.
Cheerful Patience and Reluctant Patience
There is a big difference between a forced patience where we reluctantly wait for something, and a cheerful patience. Sometimes we tolerate a situation because we feel there is no alternative. Or we might think we are being patient, but, inwardly we feel aggrieved to be waiting for so long. A cheerful patience is very different. Here we are not getting annoyed with ourselves or other people. It is this cheerful patience that is the most rewarding
How To Be More Patient
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
- If we struggle to be patient with others. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Feel that if you were in their situation, you would have the same challenges and difficulties. Even if you could do something better than others, try to develop sympathy and oneness with their situation.
- Don’t get Joy just from Achieving Targets. The preparation is as important as the end result.
- Don’t put Excess pressure on Yourself. Patience which is calm and measured helps us to achieve anything quicker. If we don’t have patience and get frustrated we only become ineffective.
- Patience Works!
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.”
Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
Picture Top: Antara Plabhat, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries.