Patience for the ‘Moon’ – The Silent Virtue…
We live in an impatient world and since the advent of the internet and the technology surrounding it; the world is more impatient than ever. We want it now, and if it’s not available now, we move to the next thing that will feed our need for instant gratification.
Whatever happened to that silent virtue of patience? Have we forgotten about the strengths of leading a more patient life?
English politician George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1633-1695), wrote, “A man, who is a master of patience, is master of everything else.”
It seems Savile understood this, but how many of us do? We go through life expecting so much in so little time, with so little effort. We all know the cliché that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, but dare we apply that maxim to our own lives? Seemingly we’d have everyone else wait, but of course, not us.
Patience, like many things in life, is a habit, a habit that all of us can develop with practice, therein lays its beauty. We’re not born impatient or patient, although at times our personalities may lend it to one or the other. Develop the habit of patience and reap the benefits of a more powerful life.
Why is patience powerful? Think for a moment. Think to a time where you may have acted rashly, but now with the benefit of hindsight you wish you hadn’t. If you recall, you most likely said to yourself, “Damn, why didn’t I calm down, why didn’t I sit back and reflect, why didn’t I have more patience before taking action?”
Dear friends, no need to toil, we’ve all been there. We’ve all acted in ways that may have turned out differently, had we only had the patience to see things through with calm, cool and collection. Developing the habit of patience is no easy feat. It takes will power; determination, practice and fortitude (see Fortitude and the Wherewithal to carry on…). It takes a strong soul. We’re all capable of it, but we must strive for it.
In this world of show, of glamour, of action, of speed, of shock, patience is dull, boring, and above all, silent. It’s the opposite of everything we see going on around us. When something happens, the immediate inclination is to act, to make a bang, to be heard, lest we be left behind, lest we lose control. It’s fear that drives us rather than purpose, and when fear takes control, patience goes out the door.
Patience presumes purpose; purpose presumes knowing what we want. When we have clear goals, our actions are thoughtful, not thoughtless. They’re thought driven as opposed to emotional, and thought-driven actions don’t end with the words, “I wish I hadn’t done that.”
So remember, patience is our ally, not our enemy. With it, nations are built; without it, they’re lost. On May 25th, 1961, American President John F. Kennedy announced to Congress the promise of putting a man on the Moon prior to the end of the decade. On July 20th, 1969, more than eight years later, that man, by name of Neil Armstrong, took those first lunar steps. Patience got him there. Shoot for the ‘Moon’, and it may just get you there too…
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