Friday, October 28, 2011

What is Patience?

Is it resisting the instinct to blow your horn when you're running late and some idiot doesn't notice the light turned green because he's texting? Or is it sitting calmly without any desire to ram him? Do thoughts or actions determine patience?

Over the years I've learned not to say "hurry up," "get out of my way" or even "please shut up" out loud. I move over behind slow moving trucks to let the tailgater get by without lifting a finger. I wait quietly in line while employees discuss last night adventures. I resist the urge to run over people who conduct reunions in the grocery aisle.  I try to listen and make appropriate comments when I have absolutely no interest in the topic being discussed.  I bring a book to the doctors and when I travel so I don't have to make polite conversation with strangers, but I've learned not to growl when they talk to me anyway. I've even managed to moderate my facial muscles, substituting a smile and saying "no problem" when everything within me is screaming.

But if the movie and dialog running in my head represent my level of patience, then I've failed miserably. In my head, the tailgater is getting pulled over by a cop, I lean over the counter and grab the talkative employee by hair, the people in the aisle scatter like bowling pins when I ram them with my cart. In my head, I tell people exactly what I'm thinking complete with expletives.

1 comment:

  1. Don't suppress too much... a favorite sign hanging in my office says, Pollyanna's Eventually Implode. I believe the same goes for those of us having too much patience.

    I was born with ample patience, patience of Job, often at my expense. But more often I'm thankful for the calmness I experience with others. Because we're all trying to muddle through this life, each in our own way. Hang in there. And go ahead and honk every once in a while (in a nice 'excuse me' way;)