Seldom is it a challenge to make the case for patience. Patience has an almost heavenly nuance captured in that well-known adage, “Patience is a virtue“. But like other sublime conditions it is not one to which I naturally aspire and it most certainly isn’t one I regularly practice. I can’t say that I have anything against patience – I willingly acknowledge its reasonableness – but it frequently constitutes nothing but an obstruction in my life. I am constantly being told – or reminding myself – that I haven’t any which of course is ludicrous, I just resent having to exercise the talent except when pushed to do so.
I will however admit that my lack of patience has sometimes got me into trouble. If for example my anxiety is so precipitous that it encourages me to say or do things which are either wrong or premature, then it is regrettable. Generally I try to govern those instinctive reactions – broadly called impatience – but it requires enormous philosophic analysis to quell the irascibility. I perform my governance (if any) as one might do physiotherapy, that is by rote though not entirely with conviction.
Aside from my inherent testiness about having to wait for something to transpire, I add fuel to the combustion by imagining that my indecision to become impatient may be unwitting submission to delay. As a professional legal advisor I was reminded again and again that things do indeed fall through the cracks and that if it were not for my so-called restless prosecution of the project it would become unnecessarily derailed. Essentially it was my eagerness which pulled the matter from the fire before it became delinquent. For me this factor of “checking up on things” was nothing more than taking care of business though many people are only too anxious to label the assiduity as some kind of irritability (and admittedly sometimes it was). The issue then becomes when to draw the line, when to react, how long to delay, how much deference to give to that hallowed principle of patience. There is never a certain answer; so then the question is what conduct will tip the balance. I have never formulated a standard timeline by which the assess the point of activity, the point at which to disturb the tranquillity of patience.
It is easy to fathom that my personal preference is to get going, to Hell with patience. I have learned to camouflage that petulance by adorning it with excuses. Never have I found it palatable to state simply that I am anxious to know what is going on. Instead I fabricate (or should I say, embellish) one or more reasons behind which to assert myself. I am not talking about deceit, just social discretion, a matter of presentation. No one including me likes to make others feel they’re being stepped on (aside from its poor pragmatic tactic). It naturally annoys me that I am compelled to dilute the directness of my enquiry for these unrelated purposes.