“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.” Mary Pierce.
Are you a patient person or is patience a challenge for you? How do you stay patient when it is difficult for you? What is the advantage of being patient?
(Thanks to Joanne for today’s topic. Next week will be a topic starting with “Q” so please leave some words that I can use for the next blog topic. Thanks for all your help!)
We are certainly living in a time that requires patience, but even without the pandemic and its restrictions, life always challenges us. Unlike most of life, when we have those moments when we are physically threatened, we have to act quickly without thinking in order to protect ourselves or others. We may not even have time to take a deep breath.
But most of life is not like that. Being patient doesn’t mean waiting forever to see what will happen or tolerating what is harmful or unacceptable. But it does mean taking the time to truly examine a situation in order to make the best decision about the action we should take.
As a young child I had to be patient for years. In a way it really wasn’t an issue because my illnesses kept me in bed or limited my ability to be physically active. By the time I reached junior high school, I was able to do some physical activity. I played tennis, danced, and went swimming at the local pool. It was such a joy!
Needing to Control Makes Us Impatient
Throughout high school and college I was involved with many activities and became more impatient with life when things didn’t move along as I desired. But at times I was forced to be patient. I majored in drama and it’s impossible to perform in a play without considerable preparation. You have to memorize your lines, attend many rehearsals, and learn specifically how to act and move.
Despite learning the value of patience in school, I found being patient in a work environment more challenging. I worked in schools as a teacher and in offices in various positions. Every situation required a period of learning what was acceptable behavior, what was quality work, and how to adjust to difficult co-workers or managers.
Determining When to Be Patience
Too much patience could be interpreted as laziness. Too little patience could create conflicts that would lead to being fired or demoted. But sufficient patience, at times, allowed me to eventually determine that a position or company was clearly not where I should be or that it was best to stay where I was and adjust my behavior to what was required.
When I first started teaching at a Catholic girl’s high school, I loved the disciplined atmosphere because I could really concentrate on the teaching. However, an assistant principal observed me every week. It made me very nervous and I was afraid she came so often because she didn’t think I was teaching very well.
With time, I realized that she was helping me become a better teacher. She was gently teaching me more effective techniques like using group discussions and projects rather than relying on lecturing. Her perseverance as well as mine made me a much more effective teacher in her school, but also give me the tools I would need when I went to work in inner city New Orleans.
Patience Is of Value Personally and At Work
Most of us feel unsettled when we are in a new situation, but being exposed to new situations offers us an opportunity to learn. When I look back on my life, I can see how my lack of patience in social and work situations often hindered me in being successful. There were times when I knew that what I wanted to say would create a problem, but I said it anyway. No one was going to control me.
As I matured, I came to realize that at times I would say or do something that did not work for people who were close to me. I had to take the time to evaluate the situation and perhaps discuss it with others. While it may take time and patience to work out what I want to achieve, but having the patience to consider others is a requirement for healthy relationships.
Besides, exercising the patience to see where things will lead may lead us to unexpected joys.
© 2021 Georganne Spruce
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