The Virtue of Patience
I chanced upon this little courtyard surrounded by what seems like an office building in New York.
It is amazing that if we are more aware of our surroundings, little pieces of heaven can be found anywhere.
Photography has taught me many things and one of them is patience. Sometimes I have to agree with the saying that,”good things come to those who wait.”
It is interesting that every moment is not what it seems to be. What seemed like a cloudy uninteresting sunset day might just burst out in beautiful light at the very last moment.
If I were to give up before the moment because I am so confident in my predictions, I would have missed some of the most beautiful scenes in my life; even if it didn’t turn out the way I hope it would, there is still beauty to be found in any situations.
When it comes to talking about dreams and life purposes, there is a usual response that is very commonly heard—it is “easier said than done.”
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
There is an urgency that is hidden in people’s mind—the urgency to look for shortcuts in life. It is easier said than done because saying and talking about what we want to do is easy but doing itself takes tremendous effort depending on the size and scale of our dreams.
If we are to observe the natural flow of the universe, we will notice that all worthy creation requires a passage of time and the required efforts in setting the conditions for it to blossom.
Imagine that you are going to make a living as a farmer. You want to see immediate results in the harvest that could make you rich; you plant your first seed, water it and immediately pull it out and expect that the fruits are there! The best part is after doing this, you go around telling people that it is easier said than done and complain about why the magic beans are not sprouting.
That is just insane and absurd.
In many ways, people are doing it everywhere. They talk and expect things to magically appear without doing anything. They have forgotten the key to the harvest: the gap which is the passage of time that is required for the natural outcome they want.
In order to unlock the potential in any situation, patience is required. There are no two ways about it, however there is a secret to being patient and that secret is called detachment.
When we are detached from the expected outcome of any situations and we are alright with whatever happens in the meantime, we get to practice patience as a natural means of expression in our lives.
Detachment is hard only because we take things too seriously. Understand that everything is there for only a brief moment of time, one day all these things shall pass.
What we can do is to keep things simple. We just need to know that whatever is it we are trying to achieve, it requires two things: one is the passing of time and the other is setting the conditions to nurture the inevitable outcome. Time is something beyond our control and we just need to allow it to happen; time passes anyway whether we like it or not—the only thing we can do is setting the conditions.
Know our dreams and our purposes. In every moment do the best we can: prepare the soil, plant the seed, give it light and water, wait for it and let nature do its job.
Know that you are patience itself, the body does not rush to become old, the hair does not rush its growth and the heart does not rush to perform a million of heartbeats in a minute.
How long it takes? We don’t know, but it is okay. We just need to get started and we will be pleasantly surprised how far we can go with just a bit of effort done in small increments daily.
This reminds me of a quote from Henry David Thoreau,
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
So know that patience is a virtue. It is not a choice to be patient, it is a necessity for living our lives to the greatest potential. Know that you are patience itself, the body does not rush to become old, the hair does not rush its growth and the heart does not rush to perform a million of heartbeats in a minute; even if it could, you wouldn’t want that.