…in the midst of an extreme situation, the wise are patient…Healing will follow upheaval. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao
Patience, the old saying goes, is a virtue and patience can take many forms.
There is short term patience, the type of patience required to get through a trying day. There is long-term patience, the type of patience that allows us to take a long-term view of life. There is the patience noted in today’s thought, the patience required to make it through an extreme situation.
All three are necessary for a well-lived life.
Not every day is great. Sometimes our fellow beings annoy us. Sometimes it’s a family situation, or maybe someone at work is not complying with our view of how things should be going. Maybe our lunch isn’t being delivered as fast as we would like. It’s helpful in these situations to take a breath and realize that everything eventually, passes, and a hectic, bustling moment won’t last forever.
Long-term patience, the patience required to construct a well-lived life, is important, too. We must realize good things take time and have the patience to achieve our desired end. Few people become what they were meant to be in their 20s, and those who do sometimes have unsatisfying 30s and 40s.
Extreme situations usher extreme emotions. Chaos in life, such as illness or death or a natural disaster bring emotions we may not be familiar with, emotions that appear to demand immediate action.
… the wise are patient…
Patience is not easy. Sometimes we want to smack someone. Sometimes what we want out of life is not happening as fast as we think it should. Sometimes things go wrong and our instinct is for immediate action. We must sublimate these instincts.
The most satisfying lives are lived by those who have patience in these situations. We must realize that chaos passes and that if we follow our heart and trust our instincts, what’s meant to happen in our lives usually does.