What is one of the most valuable commodities that anyone can possess in this day and age? What is the one precious thing we all seem to lack? Have you guessed what this ‘eighth wonder of the world’ is? Well, it is the virtue of patience, of course!
I believe that, given the opportunity, some of us would even trade all of our earthly possessions for a lifelong supply of this magical substance. It is the one thing that can secure us so much happiness, inner peace and long-term fulfillment. The Dutch say that “a handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains”. There is no doubt in my mind that should some genius be able to develop a magical formula to capture patience in a bottle, that person would overnight become the wealthiest person on the planet!
The patent holder for patience will not only rule the world, but will also put many of us out of work. The global service industry, for one, will experience a major downturn in customer demand. With so many suddenly patient souls on the planet, there will be less need for some of the jobs that typically deal with the impulsive, hot-headed and intolerant side of human nature. If everyone could take a pill to become instantly long-suffering, many professionals would have to be made redundant, including Customer Complaints Managers, Divorce Lawyers, Emergency Room Nurses, Traffic Officers, Therapists and, of course, Psychic Advisors.
Imagine the possibilities of having no more ‘road rage’ along your life path. There will be less broken relationships, less bad decisions, less spoilt chances…no more arguments, regrets, misunderstandings, impulsive assumptions, reckless behavior or jumping to ridiculous conclusions. No more sleepless nights. With true patience we will find it so easy to peacefully wait our turn; we will be content to give the cycles of life the benefit of the doubt.
With lasting patience in our pocket, we will no longer have the need to pressure the world around us to immediately comply with our needs; neither will we have the tendency to want to control everything. We will have lasting inner peace and we will simply trust in the flow of life. We will not have the compulsion to act impulsively, before we consider the future consequences of our words and deeds. We will have confidence in the successful outcomes of our manifested desires, even if it takes a hundred years to accomplish. We will accept that when we ask it will be given, one way or the other, and always when the time is right. We will intuitively know that everything is as it is intended to be, every second of every day. We will understand that the Law of Attraction is not the name of a fast-food restaurant.
Over the years, I have seen how a lack of patience, uncontrolled emotions and rash actions can crush dreams, destroy lives and wreak havoc in relationships. It does not surprise me that patience features as one of the most valued virtues in many religions, including Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Buddhism regards it as one of the perfections that must be achieved on the path to Enlightenment.
If only they would accept that the human ego is fueled by fear and petulant self-interest, and realize that when the ego takes over in any situation you are bound to get way ahead of yourself, and it will usually lead you to make a royal mess of things.
Patience is the antidote to the restless poison of the ego. Without it we all become ego-maniacal bulls in china shops, destroying our future happiness, as we blindly rush in where angels fear to tread. In these out-of-control moments, we bulldoze through the best possible outcomes for our lives, within a matter of minutes, only to return to the scene of the crime later… to cry over spilt milk. Then the process of picking up the pieces begins, trying in vain to salvage what may be left of the opportunities and future prospects we have now annihilated. More often than not the damage simply cannot be undone. How many times have I heard the sad words: “If only I had listened to your advice, if only I waited a little longer?"
Our lack of patience comes from our fear of the unknown, and our intolerance of uncertainty. We are reluctant to accept that nothing is ever certain or secure in our human experience. The only security we really do have in this lifetime is the knowledge that there is absolutely no certainty. There is no such thing as a ‘sure thing’ when it comes to the human condition, except for the fact that this lifetime will eventually come to an end for all of us. Sir Francis Bacon said that “if we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and we are patient in them, we shall end in certainties.”
Some of us have become so ridiculously impatient that we cannot even wait for the world to end in its own good time. Oh no, some of us demand an immediate apocalypse, be it this year or the next. And for those who are privileged to be chosen to survive there must be an instant DNA upgrade included in the deal ... non-negotiable. Immediate gratification is what we have come to expect and demand.
Meanwhile Planet Earth revolves around her axis unperturbed and Mother Nature patiently goes about her daily business, as she always has, doing her utmost to heal the damage and destruction we leave in our wake. She will continue to see us come and go, untroubled by our petty human dramas, whilst the Universe will continue to leisurely work in its many mysterious ways.
I deal with the aftermath of impatience almost every day in the work that I do, and I can assure you that there truly is wisdom in having some patience and fortitude. There is freedom to be found in letting go of our rigid, premature expectations. If only we could stop jumping up an down, and not try to drive square pegs into round holes. If only we could refrain from peeking at the cards of others, before they lay them out on the table, or quit tampering with the unripe fruit of our destiny. If only we could relinquishing our unyielding ideas of how things must be, and how quickly they must come to pass. If we could just cut loose and surrender to the boundless possibilities that await us. If we could just kick our heels up and run spontaneously wild with the mysteries of life. If only we had a some patience in a bottle ... how smooth the ride would be!