Certainly, when Miss Dally said ‘patience is virtue’ she wasn’t preaching a righteous morality lesson in virtues. She was simply saying patience means standing back and letting others go first through the door. Move aside to make sure there’s room in an elevator. Don’t impatiently crush the airline departure gate or airplane’s aisle. Or huff and puff with exasperation when something has gone wrong at the supermarket checkout, and someone needs more time to sort their payment or themselves. Help this world be a more pleasant place though patience.
Why is that few stand back nowadays and allow others to go first? Is it because life moves so fast that everyone feels they don’t have time? No time to be patient? They have an appointment so make way for me. The Me First movement gone crazy, as in, if I don’t get my turn right now, I’ll miss out. Patience does not seem to be a virtue anymore. FOMO (fear of missing out) appears to be the predominant emotion in society now.
It’s important to understand just how much your actions have impact. Like the butterfly effect. Small things have non-linear impacts on a complex system. A butterfly flaps its wings and creates a typhoon. How does the butterfly wing example translate to patience?
A young man steps aside for an elderly man and creates hope. A young woman on the bus stops looking at her phone and makes space on the seat next to her and creates comfort. A businessman pauses rather than honks his horn impatiently and creates less stress in traffic. A tradie doesn’t yell but explains till the newly arrived Australian struggling with English understands and creates relief. A school kid on a bench pulls his legs in, moves his backpack out of the passageway and creates less anxiety around him.
There is something so powerful about patience. Being considerate towards those around you. Sure, patience is good manners but at the same time you are spreading something. Good manners and consideration are like a virus. Once you get infected, you infect others. Patience spreads, just like impatience spreads.
Take time. You have time. There is no rush. No urgency. What matters are the people around you.
Patience really is a virtue.
Next time, let’s look at dress code. Because manners are a tricky business. But it’s our business and we’d like to share it with you.