We all think we are patient people. It’s our own subjective outlook that we are the default and everyone else is wrong, mistaken or in error somehow. There are a precious few that understand EVERYONE has that same point of view. Nearly every conflict humans have with things – or one another – comes from that EGO (a person’s sense of self-worth) as being somehow greater than the next guy.
In reality, we’re all in the same boat and no one knows where we’re going. While that may seem frightening to a lot of people, others, increasingly, realize we’re all just along for the ride. For those who live life as it comes along – taking unexpected turns with grace and interest instead of fighting them – their lives seem altogether easy. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. But who can tell, really??? Anyone who compares themselves to another is just on the outside trying to look in. You can try to stand in someone else’s shoes. You can assume that you understand them. You are, however, just fooling yourself. It is just not possible.
So how are we to live? In this year, the 2nd season of the Covid Saga, we need to remember patience and perspective. Those things aren’t taught in school and are not on a parental list of concepts you should teach your kids (well, maybe, but there’s no actual list and it can easily get overlooked). How does one understand such abstracts like patience or perspective? Let’s define what they are not:
Modern life has stripped us of our patience. The average person doesn’t think that way, but it is true, nonetheless. We’ve gone from being pleasantly surprised when something doesn’t take as long as we expected it to – to downright ornery and in some cases violent when our perceived expectations don’t happen when we want. Think about it. Computers made everything faster, but if it takes an extra few days for your drivers’ license to arrive in the mail – you’re annoyed. Commutes lasting over 60 minutes and maybe as many miles are common, and so are traffic jams that cause blood pressure to rise (it’s documented). Want a whole meal delivered? No problem to order it, but if it arrives 15 minutes later than estimated, you don’t tip the driver because the wait hacked you off.
Perspective has disappeared, too. The lines have gotten pretty fuzzy when it comes to how a person sees things. For example, what’s more true: a blurb from Facebook or The New York Times? When you think about it, maybe you’ll catch yourself being impatient and just wanting some quick snippet of news – not caring what the source is. If you carry that bit of information with you and pronounce it as fact to someone, you are further blurring the lines between what IS and what could be, but isn’t.
Understanding patience and perspective is necessary when humans live together in communities. We’ve discussed some ways to be patient in earlier blogs: breathe with conscious thought; walk rather than drive if it’s possible; sit outside for an hour; play with your dog; do some gardening. Did you notice that none of these things are related to technology in any way? That they’re more about nature than anything else? Nature is on its own time. We were there once, too. We’ve strayed – to our own peril. And, when you deal with nature, you’re also peeking in on another perspective. Nature doesn’t care about you. Not about what you think. What you feel. How you behave. It just IS. It follows that the more you connect with it, the wider your perspective will be and your perception of other people will change.
I’ve talked about TaijiFit before. It is also a doorway into these concepts. I invite you to join me on Thursday mornings at 11 am, USA Central Time, on my Zoom channel 827 2322 1722 and try it for yourself. We ‘play’ tai chi for about 35 minutes. The password is good4you. The offer stands through July 1, 2021. If I’m not there, I’ve been called to help someone in person.
Life is a journey that seems a whole lot longer if you lose patience!