“Patience, young one.” said the wise master to his student, when the boy complained that, despite all his training and practice, the old man said he was not yet ready to go forth into the world.
Life is full of frustration. Think of the pot of water whose boiling we await, the lines of customers ahead of us in the supermarket, or the wheeled obstacle-mobiles piloted by others sitting in rows before us on the highway. Whatever our situation is, patience can keep our mind in the present, where it must be for clear thinking.
Although, is this always true? The answer is no. Events in our day may require quick responses, or a gentle push to move things along. Sometimes, a substantial shove is necessary. If we don’t beep our horn, that hundred year-old corpse stopped in front of us may sit on the brakes of her car all day. A customer service operator from our favorite public utility might as well place us on holds for infinity, if we don’t sharply badger them and steamroll their weak will. We are told, in the event of a fire, to remain calm and walk slowly to the nearest exit. However, fire moves very quickly. What will this advice get us? On fire. That’s what. Then we’ll be burned.
Thus, patience, albeit a virtue, cannot solve all our problems. Sometimes we must take action, and run as fast as we can to that exit, without second-guessing who we might step on.
Today I will know when to exercise calmness and caution, but also when to bend and force situations into being what I want, now!