Someone once made this short prayer: “Lord, give me patience, but please hurry!” The word “patience” is derived from the Latin word pati, which means to suffer, to endure, to bear. Patience is the level of endurance a person can take before any negative reaction. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Arnold H. Glasgow says: “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” Often in life we encounter situations that test our patience:
- Delay in getting what we want, when we want and where we want
- Sickness, fatigue, hunger, thirst, etc.
- Conflicts, disputes, irritation, pain, temptations, bad behaviour, bad habits, etc.
- Contempt, insults, accusations, etc.
Each of us can sit back and recount the occasions that tested our patience. When we lose patience, the consequences can be unmanageable and disastrous. Many serious quarrels start with impatience over little things. That's why it is so very important to train oneself in this virtue from young age. It is in fact the taming of our passion and is developed through difficulties and troubles that we encounter in life. It helps us encounter frustrations, disappointments, sickness, privations and hardships without losing our serenity. The virtue of patience gives a person greater advantage over others in every situation, as Thomas Jefferson says: "Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."