Patience. They say it’s a virtue but I think it’s so much more than that. Patience encourages kindness, courtesy and an overall sense of well-being.  It has the ability to make a person calm and composed.  It encourages thoughtfulness. Unfortunately, in this fast-paced, increasingly technology-driven world, patience seems to be waning, much to our detriment.

We all want, what we want, when we want it. We feel compelled to check our mobile devices incessantly for fear of missing out on some (usually inconsequential) information.  We have no time to engage people face-to-face, let alone make eye contact with them.  We hem and haw at the thought of standing in line for something, anything.  And then we have to call or text (read: bother) someone to let them know we’re in that line!  We’re quick to honk the horn if someone doesn’t start driving as soon as the light turns green.  We push the elevator button over and over again in the hopes it will move faster.  (sigh)

This impatience and fast-fast-fast mentality inevitably leads to discourteous, and sometimes even rude behaviour. I know. We’ve only got so many hours in the day.  We’re stressed.  It seems like we’re forever rushing. All the while, the kids are screaming, the dog is barking and they accidentally cut off your power.  But, there’s never an excuse to be unkind.

Patient people are easy to spot. They’re usually the ones who will yield to let you enter their lane. They’re the ones that will let you go ahead of them in line because you’ve got one item and they’ve got a cartful.  They’re the ones that let you get your thought out without interrupting.

The key, I think to surviving this high-speed life with grace is perspective and patience. If you don’t actively and consciously take the time to enjoy every waking moment of your day (yes, even standing in line at the post office), soon, your days will all meld into one and you will simply be reacting to all those little things life throws your way instead of really living it.

For me, being patient means simply accepting a situation for what it is by realizing that it was meant to be and just going with it.  It may sound philosophical but patience is a part of a well-mannered foundation.  It’s hard to be kind, courteous and respectful when you’re impatient.

So, if impatience creeps up on you from time to time, try asking yourself if whatever it is, is really worth raising your blood pressure over. (If it helps, I’ve heard it said that no one’s ever died of low blood pressure.) Will an extra ten minutes at the grocery store really matter in the grand scheme of things?  If the answer is no, take a moment.  Take a breath. Then another. And enjoy the moment.



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