On Not Being Impatiently Patient

Image source: Image by Shahariar Lenin from Pixabay

Not in the wildest of my dreams did I think that a wait at the doctor’s office would spark the idea for an article. After reaching on time, it took 50 minutes until I was seen. No points for guessing, it was a test of my patience because I had gone there without eating breakfast! On the brighter side, I have ended up sharing my two cents on patience!

When my child was a five-year-old, it was not easy to teach him what patience meant. My husband suggested that I draw some pictures and explain them to him in the form of a story. I made a sketch of a boy waiting at a bus stop. The sketch was pretty pathetic, but my purpose was served. I succeeded in driving home the message that the kid had to wait without complaining until the bus arrived. Thereafter, my little boy started understanding that patience means “wait”!

At 26, he plays a trick on me with the tables being turned. When I tell him to hurry up and stop dilly-dallying while doing his chores, he quotes me: “‘Patience means ‘wait’.’ Didn’t you teach me that?”

As much as we keep talking about how important it is to be patient, is it easy? I explored a few scenarios.

There is immense joy in celebrating your child’s birthday, but there are downsides too. Your boy or girl can do a bunch of the most annoying things on that special day, yet they can get away with the famous one-liner: “At least don’t shout at me on my birthday!” Now, what else can you do besides taking a long, deep breath and calming down? 

There can be no worse timing to having a tiff with your spouse than prior to having guests at home or just when you are about to visit someone else’s place. At that moment, you feel like you have your “bitter half” and not your better half next to you. In spite of wanting to put forward your point of view, you cannot. The most needed virtue is undoubtedly patience because you have to be on your best manners and pretend that all is well!

Yes, sharing is caring! Social media has enabled that more than ever. But it does get on to your nerves when sharing turns to spamming. Each and every social media account of yours is inundated with dozens of posts that give life lessons, some of them being shared more than once! Can you rant about this and hit the unpopularity charts by telling the sender that you would rather read a self-help book? I advise that you do not!

You are in a gathering, and you know for sure that the smart individual in the room who’s trying to impress the audience is lying through his or her teeth. Well you still need to be patient and not call out that person.

After navigating through these varied scenarios, it feels that imbibing patience into your daily routine is indeed a Herculean task! But then, I cannot look around me with a jaundiced eye and have such a cynical perspective because the sweeter side is visible too!

To be patient for nine long months till I held my baby boy in my arms and heard his first cry was a wonderful feeling. It was and still is a blessed experience!

I have seen those strong, determined individuals calmly undergoing long periods of treatment for their illnesses because they have believed that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Their patience has taught me positivity and made me understand that trials and tribulations need to be handled with courage and fortitude.

A beautiful example of patience is right in my family, and I see that in my mother. She has always endured pain and embraced pleasure with equal acceptance. It warmed my heart when I happened to see her maintaining her composure when my father passed away. After losing her husband of 54 years, she has managed to walk along the path of life with grace and dignity. She shows her strength, lest the rest of the family falter and fall. 

So if I look at this world through the lens of optimism, I would inevitably conclude that we ought to be patient. The canvas of our existence is way too large to fret and complain about trivial things that we will perhaps not even remember after a certain point of time. A quote from Stephanie Danler, the author of New York Times bestseller Sweetbitter, beautifully summarizes: “A certain connoisseurship of taste, a mark of how you deal with the world, is the ability to relish the bitter, to crave it even, the way you do the sweet.”  

Being able to follow this philosophy will help one to face storms and calm with the same ease although there is a catch to what I am sharing. Preaching, as always, is easier than practicing. This applies to most human beings, and I include myself in this category. However, my wish is to increase my capacity for patience. Or let me rephrase it: I will strive not to be impatiently patient!


  1. Beautiful article… life has indeed taught me this important lesson on how to be patient. Again, we are taught from an early age that ‘Time and tide wait for no man’, there is a fine line dividing the value of time and when to be patient – this is something for each of us to perceive.

  2. I feel you are speaking to me directly, Rashmi. Yes, patience is key to succeed in the struggle to “understand that trials and tribulations need to be handled with courage and fortitude.” Patience is something I struggle with in my daily routines. It’s hard sometimes to conquer that stubborn “patience,” especially for someone like me who is multitasked. Your article, beautifully written, bears the ultimate truth: “PATIENCE” –something that everyone of us needs to go through life, like your mother who stood firm after the death of her husband, “lest the rest of the family falter and fall.” Keep it up, Rashmi. Great work!

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