Today a topic we believe many of us are constantly working on – patience! Whether at home, with children, at work, in car or when waiting for turn at the tile in the shop or at the bank – patience is sometimes needed. If you are one of those constantly finding yourself counting to ten before you open your mouth, you might consider doing some work on your patience skills. Patience means calmness, self-control and the willingness to tolerate delays. Is patience a necessity? Moreover, can it be developed and nurtured over time as we grow older and hopefully wiser?
Patience or forbearing is the state of endurance under more or less difficult circumstances or situations. An intuitive reaction of negative character might be prevented by patience. ‘Patience’ can also refer to the character quality of being steadfast. For those that are impatient, the good news is, patience can be taught and developed. The first thing you should ask yourself is the very cause of your impatience; namely, why you are in such a hurry. You are waiting (impatiently), you let out loud sighs and shake your head while drumming your fingers on the table. Try exercising the art of patience – count to ten!
“I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end” Margaret Thatcher once said. That changes the meaning of ‘patience’ as it may also inhabit expectations of a process going the way one expects. In cognitive psychology, patience is studied as a decision making problem relating to the choice of a smaller reward in the short term or a larger reward in the long run. Therefore, one might be patient waiting for an achievement to come through, which in effect could make patience a negative as well as positive human quality.
Also interesting is the place patience has taken in religion. In Islam as well as in Christian religion, Hinduism and Buddhism, patience is one of the best and most valuable virtues in life. It also forms a prominent theme in Judaism. Hence seen in this light, patience is undoubtedly a positive quality. Most of all, patience is about attitude to others and – to yourself. Interpreting patience as a matter of tolerance provides meaning as to why patience is important and a quality one should strive towards developing. Developing patience in this sense means changing attitude to life and fellow human beings. I no longer count to ten – I count to 50. Hurry up and wait!