This I Believe

Randy - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on June 4, 2007

Have patience.

Attempting to probe the nature of “this I believe” I began to notice the similarity between them all is that they all indirectly give advice. Each one beings with a statement of someone’s belief and then continues by selling you the idea. Each one is a little life advice, safely presented. So naturally, I raised the question to myself, “if you could give one piece of advice, and only one piece of advice to everyone and anyone, what would it be?” And my answer was:

Have patience.

Have patience with the people around you. Everyone has a different story. Before you jump to conclusions about anyone, make sure you know the story. For example, when you and a friend go out to lunch and your friend does nothing to ask about you and simply rants and vents the entire two hours. Have patience. Instead of looking ahead towards, “when the hell can I get out of here,” bring yourself back and be the listener. Should you muster up the patience to actively listen, it is possible that a rant can be turned into something constructive. But, on the chance it is just venting, let them vent. Sometimes all people want is someone to talk at. Have patience.

Have patience while driving. Consider the possibilities. Consider that the guy who just cut you off is not maliciously targeting you, but attempting to promptly pick his kids up from school since he’s been late the last few days. Also, consider that the person driving in front of you, driving the exact speed limit, holding you up from where ever it is you’re going, has recently received a speeding ticket themselves for the very thing you’re doing. And more importantly. Don’t get mad at the traffic lights. They will change. You will get there. Have patience.

Have patience with children. Remember what it was to be a kid, and be honest. Today, more than ever we think of our children, as miniature adults. Remember that when you were a kid, chores were not you’re favorite thing, food was eaten because it tasted good, you could always trust your stuffed animals to keep a secret, and your thoughts about the people around you were simply, “who wants to play octopus?” Have patience with children by knowing that to them, life is simple. The next time a kid spills grape juice on the recently vacuumed rug, have patience. Remember the way you felt when you had an accident and how your parents reacted. Remember that they think simply, and in all likelihood, are more worried about your reaction than the newly saturated rug.

Have patience with yourself. Take deep breaths. Whether you’re at the last stretch, projects are due, deadlines are looming, and procrastination has gotten the best of you, have patience with yourself. If you’re you at the beginning with a clean slate, and you’re next step is more of a leap than a step. Have patience with yourself. Ideas will come, deadlines will be met, friends will be made, driving will become less stressful, children will smile with you, and the next time your co-worker/friend/spouse is wigging out, begging for any advice, you can take a deep breathe, and honestly say:

“Have patience.”