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Patience is a virtue, even if patience isn't always virtuous
Donald Reinhardt, December 2, 2012
If you think about a few virtues like honesty, faith, hope, love, patience and kindness you think of attributes of personality and character. Let's look at patience which is a rare, if not disappearing, virtue in modern society.
Patience – Why is patience a virtue?

Patience means calm and self control and no stress even when there is a delay or waiting for something to happen that normally might occur more quickly. Impatience is lack of tolerance or acceptance for any delay in any situation, whether urgent or not. Some typical situations that test patience follow.

Consider when you are waiting on line at a drive-up food service, a movie or theatre queue or a long line at a food store, supermarket or big box store like Sears, Wal-Mart, Lowes or Home Depot. In these places you may experience soon the tug of war between patience and impatience. 

But patience is not simply about shopping impatience. In fact, patience has much to do with a whole lot more in life. There are other things and events that test our patience – health issues, work, jobs, our home or residence and the state of our finances – these situations and events all are a real and substantial part of the total mix of needs and turmoil in so much of our lives.

If you, or someone you are with, are impatient that is not a good feeling and impatience is seldom a good or healthy experience. Impatience and anxiety often travel hand in hand. Anxiety can cause impatience and impatience can heighten anxiety. Soon there may be agitation and consternation and maybe a touch of  anger or even full-fledged rage. Whenever these are detected or produced in you, or in someone else, it is time to look for some anti-impatience formulas that work. There are no magic people pills here, just simple common sense and wisdom will carry the day for anyone.

If patience is a virtue, how do we get or retain it? Simple steps to patience.

Let's admit that modern society makes it difficult to remain virtuous. Too many people and too many crossed paths can lead to conflict on and at so many levels. On the other hand, social opportunities abound and since we share the same world together, why do we not make the best of it? Why not be more sociable, pleasant, understanding and patient? What is there to lose?

Here are some steps to impatience control and improved patience for shoppers.
1.Shop online via the Internet
This one feature has solved many a person's problem with long lines. Faster and prompter online service usually abounds. Therefore, Internet shopping and purchases of movie and theatre tickets saves time, money and gas and all this contributes to making you a more patient and more virtuous person. Further, the avoidance of the stress factors of in-person shopping or whatever means a healthier you and that is very important.
2.Shop at early or late store open hours
If it is obvious that there will be a long line you can opt out of being at that place perhaps. For shoppers, shopping at slow or low traffic times works wonders to reduce anxiety and stress. Sometimes these hours are early in the day or much later at night. You could even ask the store via a phone call how the traffic within the store is currently and expected for the time you hope to arrive there. Never shop around 11 AM to 1 PM because during these hours you hit the lunch break crowds and those who use that time to shop or do other things.

3.Don't procrastinate – shop early before your deadline

Our calendars record and show our upcoming events and activities. Plan well and do early shopping or reservations as the case may be and do not procrastinate to the last minute because that creates more impatience and anxiety.

4.Eat earlier or later

It can be that easy – eat lunch at 11 AM or 2 PM, rather than at noon to 1:30 PM, and you will find often that this timing works well. Dinner at 5 PM. or even slightly earlier, is better than dinner with the 6 to 8 PM crowds.

5. While waiting in line it might help to  –
  • talk with someone who is with you or near you. Make the conversation about a pleasant and a calming topic, if you can. You can always enjoy conversations about pleasant or good news topics. 
  • simply read a magazine, paper or book of your choice while waiting. 
  • listen to some good music to carry you through the wait as you tune in a music device through ear buds.

Here are three steps to impatience control and improved patience for your whole life.

This is the big balance and patience picture which really matters.

1. Balance your budget –  Keep a real budget and keep track of all your expenses and remember to not overspend or imbalance the budget by accruing credit card debt that is unsustainable.

2. Live frugally and within your means – Make sure you attend to the basics first before anything else – lodging, food, utilities and your basic health needs. If you are eating out a lot, eat out less or not at all. If your bills for your home are too large, sell that big house and get a smaller one. If you have too many cars and too many expenses sell what you don't really need and cut back and keep cutting back as needed.  

3. Sustain yourself by faith and with good and loving friends who matter – Good friends and true faith and foundational principles sustain us all. It is my belief that we fail in life because we have no or little faith and therefore we have almost no hope and sometimes no love. 

Find faith, find and keep true friends who do good things and who live healthy lives and are true helpers. We all are sustained by goodness that is found and evil that is rejected. Find the path and the straightway that will carry you to the top of the mountain and not the many roads that lead to dark, cold and deep valleys. 

Patience is important for healthier and wiser living
So here you are waiting for some things to happen, some things to change. But how shall you wait –patiently or not? Shall we wait with a hope and a faith that sustains us or be impatient and pulled down and weighted by our impatience?
Yes, that is the question, to be patient or not be. And the response is simple – it is better to be patient and not whine, complain or be anxious then to have all three of those dogs barking at you: whiner, complainer and anxiety – three dogs that always hound the impatient to death.

Yes, patience is a virtue and patience can be sustained, but patience always needs to be nurtured and maintained.

Remember that patience promotes better health by reducing anxiety and keeping blood pressure under control. Patience is a heart-healthy and mind-wise virtue that nourishes and sustains us.

Therefore, be vigilant, strive for virtue throughout your life and know that life is worth living and the living is left to us.

People waiting patiently or impatiently.

Photo Credit: State of Michigan @