Patience is a Virtue not a Hinderance

Last Sunday, I went to my friend’s house to attend a birthday party. The interior was beautifully decorated with balloons and colorful lights all over the place. A mouth-watering chocolate cake was placed on the center table. Every kid present there was put through a patience test, as they had to eat the cake through their eyes, till the time the birthday kid cuts the cake, but one of the kids, despite trying hard, failed the test. He enjoyed the cake before anyone else could, but ruined the birthday party. He received different sorts of reactions from people out there; some were shocked and some were amused. Now the cake and the birthday kid were no more the centers of attraction. This boy has grabbed everyone’s attention, his impatience has earned him a reward but with some bitterness, as his parents scolded him for his inappropriate behavior.

We all are more or less like this impatient kid; we all are impatiently running in a race to get some reward, that may be accompanied by some loss, that could be in terms of health, relationships, or career. Working impatiently can give you an instant gratifying result that might not be beneficial for your future self, whereas patiently driving towards your goal may bring some initial pain but can land you at a place where you will be contented and happy with yourself. Patience helps you in sticking to something which might not be pleasant at present but may be fruitful in the future.

Am I always impatient?
There are many situations in our lives where we do not allow our impatience to win over our patience.

  • We will wait patiently for the food to get cooked, instead of eating it raw.
  • We are patient enough for the stand-up comedian to finish his joke.
  • We patiently wait for the movie to reach its climax.
  • We patiently watch our favorite cricketer finishing his century.

  • We have to read that WhatsApp message when our child wants to show us his/her scribble.
  • We urgently have to send an email when our spouse wants to have a word with us.

Why do I need to be patient?
Imagine what will happen if a surgeon becomes impatient during surgery, if a mother becomes impatient to deliver her child, if a soldier becomes impatient to meet his family, if a painter gets impatient to finish his artwork; a could be masterpiece might end up as an ordinary combination of colours on a canvas.

  • We need to have immense patience to build a strong relationship. To strengthen a relationship, we need to patiently listen and understand the other person, keeping our ego and judgments aside.
  • We have to patiently walk through the pains of exercises and diets, to accomplish a much fitter and healthier body and mind.

What makes me impatient
A constant delay in the fulfilment of our desires increases our impatience and desires get generated in us due to comparison.
The kind of society we are living in, it’s almost impossible to restrain ourselves from comparisons unless you are a monk! but with some level of self-awareness and clarity, we can prevent ourselves from falling prey to our own emotions.

What is the harm in being impatient?
We have seen people standing at the back of the queue frequently giving friendly jerks to the person standing in front of them out of their impatience with the hope of getting a few steps closer to their destination.

People can be seen yelling at the staff of the airport when their flights get delayed due to some genuine reasons because they just run out of patience.

As parents, we shout at our kids because we lack the patience of listening to them and understanding the reason behind their behavior.

 In the above cases, impatience doesn’t seem to be much of a problem but the reality is a little different

  • It is proved medically that Impatience can cause health issues like stress, anxiety, hypertension, etc.
  • Lack of patience can easily trigger our anger and we can be a slave of our own emotions by behaving unpleasantly with others.
  • Impatience can make us act against our personality and core values to quickly get the desired result.
  • It is hard for an impatient person to achieve mental stability and self-contentment.

Is impatience always bad?
We should be impatient enough to choose life over death, we should be impatient to help people in need, we should be impatient to learn new things, we should be impatient to be our best version.
None of the human emotions are bad, we just need to figure out the reason behind it, and move ahead accordingly using our intellect.
Impatience if understood completely and used sensibly can help us push the bars.