What does patience have to do with time?

Have you ever thought of having a “day of patience?” What does patience have to do with time though? Well, according to one definition of patience, it is “a good-natured tolerance of delay.” Delay is when time accrues that we were not expecting such as when a plane is delayed or a birth is delayed. Delays can be a major source of frustration, unless of course you are a “patient” person. The penalties for lacking patience can be severe.

We have all seen how instances of “road rage” can turn into sudden tragedies that can ruin many lives. A lack of patience can be the source of severe stress and/or depression. Studies show that over ten percent of unemployed people suffer from depression. How much depression occurs because we want things right now and these things we want may take a great deal of time to accrue. If you are looking for a job, it might seem like forever with the countless phone calls, letters and interviews. Patience counsels us that it is just a matter of time, but we are not trained to wait for things to happen. We all want success today. We may recite the aphorism that “Rome was not built in a day” but we still try to build it in a day.

It is ironic that people who live in a chronically stressed-out condition are more likely to take up smoking and overeating, and are far less likely to exercise. Indirectly both of these are major contributors to a wide range of diseases and illnesses. It still remains to be shown how or to what extent stress may contribute to heart disease but it has been shown that stress contributes to factors that lower our resistance to good health and increases our risk of illness. For a good deal of information on stress and how to cope with it, go to the following website: http://stress.about.com/

How we think about the delays in our life can contribute to our health and longevity by lowering our stress and easing the burden on our hearts. How do you react to delays? Do you regard them as “opportunities” or as “time wasters?” Do you jump the gun at red lights and always run the yellow lights? Can you hardly keep from honking at the slow driver in front of you? Do the long lines and people taking more time at the registers cause you to do a slow burn? Carefully note the delays in your day today and watch how you react to them. Give yourself a star each time you are patient and an X whenever you are impatient. See how many of each you have at the end of the day. Lowering your X factor will help you to live happier if not longer.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 13:23:47

    One of the biggest changes in my life over the past several years has been in my attitude toward patience. I used to scoff at the saying that “patience is a virtue”, but no longer do so. I have found the way to somehow enjoy delays, and enjoy my reaction to them, treating them as unexpected little vacations rather than impositions. What a relief that has been!



  2. John Persico
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 00:01:00

    I have been working on more patience for almost two years now. Karen does not think I am making much progress Bruce. I am beginning to agree that is may be the most important virtue we can develop.



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