Patience

I delivered this short piece at an NCCF gathering in NYSC camp, Imo, where I served. S’amuse!

In simple terms, I’d define patience as the tendency to wait (for something).

‘Patience’…‘Suuru’…‘Ndidi’…‘Hakiru’…‘Paciencia’…‘Pazienza’…‘Geduld’…‘忍耐’(pronounced ‘Nintai’), ‘Patientia’…varying words all meaning the same thing! It’s apparent, and probably well-known, that patience is a laudable trait in virtually every society existent, including ours…

…or is it? In today’s world, it seems that people are embracing the opposite: IMpatience. In fact, we need not look far for examples of such people: we all should know/be conversant with…

…those who can’t wait their turn in line, instead jumping queues…

…those who can’t hold the wrappers of whatever good(s) consumed till they find a dustbin, instead choosing to litter…

…those who want all the money in world NOW…

…those who don’t wait till the right time, and just have sex…

Just a few examples, but you get the idea: for a lot of people, patience seems too high a price to pay. “Why wait?” seems to be their mantra. “Why not just have my way/what I want now? After all, no one gets hurt!”

Really? Is it that simple? Does no one really get hurt? Just think: how much has been damaged because someone couldn’t just wait?

How many times has chaos erupted in queues and traffic jams?

How many environs have been made dirty, even uninhabitable?

How many businesses ruined?

How many unplanned, and aborted, pregnancies, even deaths?

How many relationships, even lives, broken?

How many marriages disturbed, destroyed?

The answer is, unfortunately, the same in all cases and rings out loud and clear:

TOO…MANY…

Should be apparent by now that there are some hidden costs that accrue with impatience.

Some excuse themselves, viewing patience as a sign of weakness; but we must remember that God is praised numerous times in Scripture as being ‘patient’, and who dares accuse Him of being weak? In fact, this proves that true patience can only be practiced by those of the strongest character!

“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city”.

We may not all be sung as war heroes, Presidents, Governors or any other prominent position in our lifetime, but according to this verse of Scripture, we can be remembered for something even better: we can be patient!

“A patient man has great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly.”

So today, instead of forcing your way or “wanting it now”, why not…

…listen first before speaking/passing judgment?

…wait your turn?

find a dustbin! Geez!

…forgive?

…follow orders?

…try to understand?

Who knows? If you diligently practice these, you just may be the sole reason why someone’s life was made better…I know I’d certainly like to be that someone, and there are many outside your door who would too…

(Quotes are from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 16:32 and 14:29 respectively)

 

© Adeleye Adeolu, 2011. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story must be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the author’s permission.

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