So, I’ve been pondering the potential difference between being patient and having patience. The first, obvious and nerdy-wordiness, difference is that being patient is couched as a verb (yes, I know it’s actually a subject compliment in the form of a simple sentence: Molly is patient), an action while patience itself is a noun. Okay, so patient is an adjective, for those of you that need GUMP (grammar usage mechanics and punctuation) to be accurate.
Aside from semantics, I think that patience is frequently equated with passivity. I disagree…at least as a direct correlation. I think the following quote situates patience in a more palatable position.
I find that my patience has grown out of interactions with small children in dance classes. Teaching 3-5 year olds is a humbling experience in many ways, especially if you are asking them to be quiet while wearing tap shoes. I’ve also noticed that my patience extends from this position into my dealings with adults.
Sometimes. Sometimes adults behave like small children. They too must work through their problems. I find that we, the category of adults, behave like children most when we encounter criticisms we do not want to hear or acknowledge. It is when our very being is challenged in ways we cannot precipitate. It’s the stuff we take super personally, even when its not the real intention. We all have this child-like fits about things. Sometimes we can do it privately… figure it out…and recover. Other times it happens publicly, for all the world to see.
So my question is, how do we deal with such outbreaks (our own, or others)? I say through patience. Sometimes this level of patience ishard. When we see “adults” acting out, we want to say OMG be a grown-up. Patience teaches us to wait before we jump/attack. Sometimes we just have to wait for them to have their tantrum…the logic returns and the hope of a grown-up conversation can occur. This is not being passive. This is waiting until the reality allows for a conversation that can do something. Patience is not a sign of weakness…it is unspoken strength.
Sometimes everyone is walking through life in tap shoes or hanging on a barre when they are supposed to be quiet and listening.
My question to you is do you practice patience? Are you patient?