Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. – Brian Adams
Patience was not my forte in my younger years. Those who knew me then, could attest to my impatience, my not suffering fools easily and my rush to to do many things and achieve a lot. Years down the line I am learning patience and realising its inevitability in human living. These days I am more patient and nature had been teaching me.Nature and the natural circumstances around us reflect patience. Take water for example. Water is so soft, tender and almost powerless when not angry. Water goes quietly on its own way and conveys the picture of almost a powerless smooth movement. However, this belies water’s strength. A good example is the manifestation of the effects of drops of water in a container. It takes time but the container will be filled no matter its size and will after some time start overflowing. Another example is that of drops of water continuously falling on a rock. After the passage of time, the water eats up the rock creating a crater or a hole in the rock.
Take water as flood. The water that becomes a flood is usually an interesting scenario. Floods do not happen within a quick period. When rain falls, water tries to find its level and way. When the rains fall for a long time which in some instance can be hours, days or weeks, the crevices that water can fill or the waterways are clogged or full, water turns into flood. Its slow leisurely movements become forceful torrents that can turn into tsunamis lifting tonnes of weights, uprooting houses and its fury destroying everything in its way: people, buildings and every other thing. Think about fire for some time. Fires always start small. An unfinished cigarette dropped into a bush, an arsonist’s lighting of a match, a little spark from an electric outlet or the foray of a candle light to a curtain or a piece of paper. Such small beginnings create conflagrations but the underlying point is that they take time but in the end they become destructive unless controlled.
What of the ground we walk, build, live and thrive on? The earth takes in all that we heap on it. It accepts without complaints all our iniquities and inflictions on it. When we poke her eyes, gouge out her innards and fill her belly with noxious chemicals and revolting doings, she waits patiently and takes all her knocks with philosophical equanimities. Her patience pays at the end. We only need to see whole cities buried at the end of a long periods- creating jobs for archaeologists never conceived of being born when those cities were the centres of ‘civilisations’. Visit the museums and see the exhumed remains of the well-recorded capital cities like those of Genghis Khan, the Romans, the Greeks and the Sumerian empires to realise the effective ways the earth lasts us all. A breeze through Shelley’s Ozymandias and you will see our vanities and how the earth wastes and consumes us all at the end. This is not to bring into reckon the fact that the earth accepts us all at the end of our puny years on her face no matter how we decides to be interred- buried in the soil, cremated or drowned. No matter the style or ways chosen by us to take our exit from her face, our remains go back to the earth.
Step back a bit and think of what you are breathing in now. The breeze that sustains us is the wind in its simplest state. It is unrecognisable, no physical form that can be gleaned and almost unidentifiable unless you are peering down those instruments meant to catch its fleeting shapes. We breathe it in; it sustains us, cools us and makes our lives comfortable and habitable. However, when the breeze we breathe in after a long period of patience and taking everything we throw at it decides to rage, becomes a roaring distinctive beast. Those who have gone through tornadoes, whirlwinds, hurricanes and the destructive all consuming power of the wind realises the differences between the breeze we breathe and the wind that destroys.These natural elements resoundingly show us the duality and power of patience, which seemed to have become greatly endangered specie these days. In homes, communities, organisations, countries, families and this beautiful earth of ours, patience seems to be receding. Impatience and do, get, live and experience it now is the order of the day. This is a HERE and NOW generation and era. Children are deprived of their childhood, countries are biting more than they can chew, individuals are consuming more than they can hold and are in a n unfocussed rush and movements like rats in a cage or animals with heads cut.
World events are at a frenetic space and our technological cocooned civilisation seemed to be running a race against time and almost becoming a carriage horse heading down the abyss without a brake. The beauty of reflections, silence, meditation and the ability to take in and ruminate on incidents, events and circumstances had been pushed out of the window. Walks, greetings, time to appreciate others, art, beauty and relationships are being chucked out of our lives fast like dispossessing a sinking ship of whatever weights that can save it. We are now more than connected than ever before in the history of the world, our communication technologies have turned our earth and world into a sitting room sans communication. We are today far removed from one another as human beings than when the planes, communication technologies had not brought us closer. Our personal relationships and one to one dealings had become cold, impersonal, deprived of humanness, calculating and sterile. Tweeting, texting, phoning, e-mailing and all the glitz of communication and communication technologies are just full of gestures but not substance or when they seem to have substance such comes with layers of deception and intent to mislead. We are more and more impatient with others and ourselves. In our dressings, eating and all other activities, the fast food mentality and dispose now syndrome had taken over. Our educational systems, religious observances and other areas of our lives as human beings have become so commoditised and reflects the now, now mentality. What is happening to US?
Since when did you last spend time with those very dear to you?
When was it last that you created time to greet someone, known or unfamiliar, look into their eyes and genuinely reflect your interest in them or what you were discussing with them or they with you?
When was the last time you listened to that small intimate voice within you and followed its suggestions to the letter?
Is your conscience dead, buried or at a state of expiring?