The Power of Being Patient I believe in the power of patience. No matter how hard I try, I cannot accumulate the number of times I have heard the phrase, “Are we there yet?” on a car trip or a parent telling their child to hurry up. Patience pays off. When a person finally learns […]
The Power of Being Patient
I believe in the power of patience. No matter how hard I try, I cannot accumulate the number of times I have heard the phrase, “Are we there yet?” on a car trip or a parent telling their child to hurry up. Patience pays off. When a person finally learns how to wait, they are rewarded.
Ironically, I learned the value of patience from myself. However, only later did I realize the importance of my lesson. Every year during the summer my father’s family gathers at my grandparent’s house for a barbeque. One summer, my cousins and I wanted to go fishing in the pond down the road. After asking permission, all ten cousins and I set off down the street parading our poles and tackle boxes. A few hours later, we returned empty handed and out of bait.
While we moped on the front steps, my uncle came out to cheer everybody up. He explained the ups and downs of fishing. He said fishing can fulfill a man’s life, yet it can also make life feel empty. He said the key is to be patient. He claimed to have heard those words from me when I was about six years old. My family and I often fished in the lake in my backyard. One summer evening as the sun went down, everybody reeled in their lines. I remained sitting on the dock with my eyes fixed on the red and white bobber floating on the lake twenty feet out from shore.
I can clearly remember the next event. When the sun set, I could no longer see my tiny bobber out on the lake. However, my sight made no difference. A few minutes later, I could feel my line being dragged into the depths of the lake. With each tug, I reeled in harder, but the line was pulling so hard I had to call my dad for assistance. His strong arms helped my six year old strength reel in the line. When the catch broke the surface, I was shocked to see what was flopping around at the end of my line. Dangling from my pole with bulging eyes and slimy whiskers was a six pound catfish. What a catch! The commotion had attracted my family and I surveyed the shocked faces circling my prize. At this point, my uncle asked me how I caught such a great fish. I told him the answer was patience. I realized the awe of family came not from the grand size of my catfish, but from the fact that I waited on the dock even in the dark. My patience was the key to my success.
To this day, I keep in mind the value of patience. I recall the part patience played in the splendor of fishing. This reminder helps me get through times when I am not sure I can wait on something or somebody much longer. I suppress my impatience by remembering how I am always rewarded.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.