THE “WHAT, WHY & HOW” OF PATIENCE

From The Family Virtues Guide

WHAT IS PATIENCE?

Patience is quiet hope and expectation based on trust that, in the end, everything will be all right. Patience means waiting. Patience is persevering––sticking with something for as long as it takes. When you are patient, you know things take time… just as a seed will someday grow into a flower or a fruit-bearing tree.

Patience is enduring a delay or bad situation without complaining. It means having self-control because you can’t control the way someone else is acting or when things don’t go as planned.

Patience is a commitment to the future. It is doing something now so that later something good will happen. It is also tolerating all the things necessary to make it happen. Patience is seeing the end in the beginning––doing what you can and then calmly waiting, with trust that the results will come.

WHY PRACTICE PATIENCE?

Without patience people want everything now. They have trouble doing things now, which will have a result later, such as a project that takes a lot of work, or going to school so that someday they can become a doctor or an artist or an engineer.

Without patience people can’t stand to wait for anyone and fuss the whole time, which makes them and everyone more upset. When people are impatient, they act mad and irritable when things don’t go their way or other people make mistakes.

When people are patient, they don’t whine, complain, or criticize. They forgive other people and themselves.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE PATIENCE?

You practice patience by accepting things you cannot control. For example, even if you feel impatient, you act calm while waiting for someone who is late.

When you practice patience, you surrender to something that you have to endure, like an illness or injury that will last awhile, or even a handicap you may always have, instead of fighting it and getting mad about it.

Patience helps you stick to something you are trying to do, even when it gets difficult or tiresome. You persevere until it is finished, even if there is no reward for all your work until the very end. You are willing to set goals for your future, knowing that it is really worth the effort.

Patience is having goals and picturing the end in the beginning.

What would Patience look like if…

  • Your mother is very late picking you up and you have been waiting for a long time?
  • You decide you want to be a lawyer when you grow up?
  • You want to grow some vegetables?
  • You start to get annoyed when you sister forgets to put back something she borrowed?
  • You wish you were taller?
  • You have an illness that keeps you from playing your favorite sport?

Congratulations! You are practicing Patience when you…

  • Calmly tolerate a delay or confusion
  • Are willing to wait for things you want
  • Set goals and stick with them until they are finished
  • Do something now that will help you in the future
  • Accept things you cannot change with humor and grace
  • Are tolerant when mistakes are made

Affirmation

I am patient. I am gentle with others and myself when we make mistakes. I wait calmly. I trust that things will turn out right.

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