Confession time. I curse at stop lights if they turn too slowly. Especially if there are no other cars at the intersection.
I cuss out Siri sometimes after she misunderstands me for the fourth time in a row, auto-incorrects me, or misspells yet another simple word (somehow she gets all the tough words right).
As a trumpet player, I threaten to put my horns on eBay every time I have to stop practicing to oil my valves or perform basic maintenance.
If my computer wasn’t so expensive I would surely have dropped kicked it by now when my app works slower than I need it to.
Sometimes I grind my teeth in the ATM line, waiting behind someone who either doesn’t know how to use the machine, or has decided to do a full month’s worth of banking.
Yeah, sometimes I have a problem. It may seem like it’s an anger management issue, but that’s not really it. My problem is an intermittent lack of patience. With people. With situations. Especially with machines.
Sometimes my lack of patience causes me to also suffer from a lack of understanding. Of people. Of situations. Definitely of machines.
In order to understand someone, we may need to wait for them to explain where they’re coming from. They might need time to figure that out for themselves even before they’re ready to share it with us. We need to be patient through that period, even if it takes days, or weeks. Sometimes a situation needs time to develop before we can see what’s really happening. Reacting prior to that may not make sense. We need to be patient through that too.
It can be hard. It is for me. But I’m working at it and I’m getting better. And because of that my ability to understand is getting better. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but getting better sure beats getting worse.
I know I’m not the only one who wrestles with this because I see the faces in cars across the intersection. I can read lips a little bit. I’ve seen other people break things, grind their teeth and twist their faces up in ugliness. There’s a whole bunch of us struggling with patience, including our society as a whole.
But this is the point in history when we need patience the most. We need to be patient enough to develop an understanding of one another, even those we strongly disagree with and can’t stand. That understanding will better equip us to work together, solving the problems we face as a group.
It doesn’t always come easy. But like anything else, we can learn. We can practice. We can listen to music at stop lights, I can oil my trumpet valves, we can breath deeply at the ATM, or do whatever we need to do. The more patient we can be as individuals, the better our potential to understand each other and to improve society as a whole.
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