Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 67 - Patience

Patience is a virtue.

That;s one of 3 things I learned as a wee lad in Sunday School that stuck with me.

The second was that the white wafers were NOT a snack.

The third was that Mary was a virgin. Didn't learn what a virgin was until middle school.

Which is a might better than I did with "virtue." Looked that up last night. Dictionary.com. Try it yourself.

Quite a few odd definitions... including "chastity; virginity (See Mary)".

The one that seems to apply here is: "a good or admirable quality or property" which is definition #5. Seems a bit under-rated, don't you think?

I've been trying to renew my own store of patience lately. Noticed it was running a bit low when I was screaming at the car in front of me "3 on a yellow! 3 ON A YELLOW!!!"

The pedal-to-the-metal society we've built ourselves and bought into doesn't reward patience. If anything, it exploits it.

My assignment for the weekend was to be patient throughout the swim meet sessions.

These tend to be long, noisy, hot, humid, and 98% of the time your kid isn't swimming.

I did ok. I'd give myself a solid B. B+ maybe. I didn't make too big of a deal out of how slow they were to get the awards going. And I didn't say a single word to the swim mom sitting behind me who insisted on screaming at her swimmer at the top of her lungs until blood was trickling from my ears down my neck. Never mind that little Emma can't hear you because she's, you know, swimming... under the water. Funniest part was that she didn't say a peep before the race, or after when Emma might have actually been able to hear her.

Patience isn't something to be taught. You can't tell someone to be patient. You can remind them to be patient, but that assumes they already know patience. Being patient takes presence of mind and an awareness that we aren't in control of anything except how we react to the world, and how we react will affect those around us. It also requires an understanding that we don't know what is driving anyone else, or how our actions might affect them.

I could have turned around and asked Emma's mom to turn herself down, but to what end? Ok, maybe I'd be able to shake this lingering tinnitus. But who knows, maybe she was having a bad day or week or month and yelling for Emma helped her vent. Or maybe she was hard of hearing and didn't know how loud she was. Or maybe she wanted so desperately for Emma to do well that she was going to try to push her along with (what I can attest to were some really powerful) sounds waves blasting out of her pie-hole. If Emma, without her sonic boost, had missed the state cut time, perhaps I'd be to blame.

Patience rewards the person practicing it with a sense of calm and acceptance. It also rewards those with or around the person with the same sense of calm, and sometimes that's a gift.

Next time you feel like screaming through your windshield at the idiot in front of you, take a breath, realize that it's not going to help anything and it's not going to make you feel any better. Try instead to send them a wish for peace, happiness, and a safe journey. Or maybe wish that a gift certificate for driving school magically finds its way to their mailbox.

Either way...

Good running,
Doug

Numbers: 1.3 miles before yoga class on grass. Foot feeling little better.