“Patience is a Virtue”

Patiently waiting for her friends to arrive.

Last week I received an email pertaining to all the events leading up to the crucifixion, and ultimately, the resurrection of Christ. This particular piece focused around a reading highlighting how Jesus healed the paralytic man by the pool of Bethesda. The man had been paralyzed for 30 years.

The story resonated with me differently then it has in the past, and provoked me to write about it. Although it is a religious story and surrounds itself in the season of lent. The story is a powerful example of care and love for many, but in last weeks email, it was patience that was emphasized. It made me think about patience and how important it is to have in our lives. Arguably, patience just might be the most important virtues of them all. In the story, the man had been lying there for 30 years in hopes of one day being cured. He is eventually rewarded for his patience by Christ who heals him. This had me thinking of how long I waited patiently for something to come, something to happen, something to be resolved. Certainly, I have never waited 30 years for anything, but found myself asking if I could? It was Aristotle who said, “Patience is bitter, but its rewards sweet.” The story of the paralytic man could not highlight Aristotles words any greater.

We have all struggled with being patient before, and the levels to which we will remain patient with something. There are such varying degrees of patience, and they seem to change as quickly as the Alberta weather. Some days we remain patient under the most time constraint circumstances. Other days we have zero patience for the most trivial of things, like having to run back to the store because you bought the wrong ingredient for dinner. What gives us a greater amount of patience? What wears our patience thin? Why do some lack patience, while other seem to have it in abundance? How do we teach it? I ask because I want to teach my daughter about it. I want her to have a lot of it, and value it heavily, because I believe it is a very valuable gift to have and we never put much emphasis on teaching it. We always just simple say to people, “have patience, be more patient, patience is a virtue, expecting that everyone will just magically become patient.

“Patience is bitter, but its rewards sweet.”


Patience is the ability to remain calm and in control of one’s emotions in the face of adversity, illness, hard times, delays and suffering. While some people are born with more patience than others, great patience only comes with practice. Sometimes we acquire patience through facing extreme adversity and are forced to learn patience because we don’t have any control over the circumstance. Something like being diagnosed with cancer where we have little control over the outcome or side effects of treatment. Circumstances like this will teach you patience whether you care to learn it or not. Aside from those exceptions, the only real way to become more patient is to practice it. If you think Zen Buddhist and focus on the principles within this philosophy, you will find yourself exercising your patience virtue. As goes with any exercise, you will see improvement. You can find great examples of patience in almost all religious studies, and are great resources when trying to improve or understand patience. Studying them and focusing on their philosophies will contribute to you becoming a more patient individual.

Madex practicing the art of patience

I have discovered that the best way to become a more patient person is by accepting people as they are, not as you want them to be; by holding your tongue before you jump all over someone; by remembering we are all imperfect. One can give advice while not criticizing, and criticize positively.

People with little or no patience are narcissistic, unsure of themselves and bullies. They react rather than think. Remember this next time you find yourself in a boardroom listening to someone ram their opinion at you, or refuse to listen to others give theirs. Remember this the next time you may not agree with someone and want to jump in and speak your mind. First stop and give thought to your criticism, give thought to what message you want to convey. Exercise patience and you will be rewarded for it. You will also find yourself never regretting what you said or what you did, because careful thought was given before hand.

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; Fools talk because they have to say something.”


Being patient is about exercising restraint. Not everything in life requires a response from you. Sometimes the best response is no response. I think in today’s society people forget how powerful silence can be. It doesn’t always mean a person is depressed, lonely or introverted. They may be full of joy, grateful for an abundance of things and giggling with laughter inside. You ever wonder what a cat is thinking sometimes when they look like they are smiling, just sitting stoically on a perch somewhere. Maybe nothing; maybe everything. I often wonder though as I stare back admiring the patience they are exercising. I try to reflect upon this image when I push pause on our busy lives. It helps me become more patient and retreat into the now, become more present, and enjoy what is. I think the world could benefit greatly if everyone was to exercise a little more patience. I certainly know without a doubt that one can improve the quality of their life greatly by just being a little more patient. The world we live in is busy enough and appears to be getting busy with every passing day. There are many reasons for this that we can discuss in another blog, but one thing is for sure, it is not slowing down. Unless you take control, make the effort and centre your focus on slowing it down, you will be swooped away with its winds. Patience is one virtue that can give you this control.

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