While sipping tea the other day, I remembered this moment from my childhood. My mother was helping me grasp the spelling of two words — ‘Character’ and ‘Christmas’. I somehow couldn’t remember them no matter how hard I tried. It took me weeks to get it right and the days that I was struggling, my mother remained patient.
Even when big fat droplets of tears were running down my cheeks, she made me strong headed by saying it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get it right. But I know you will get it eventually, don’t give up and keep writing it down.
I look back and wonder, what if my mother wasn’t patient enough with me. What if she snapped and shattered my confidence? What if my mother kept yelling at me that could have crippled me with fear every time I tried learning something new?
Today, I am a level-headed person all because she was patient enough to wait for my mind to remember the correct spelling of those two words.
Patience — a Priceless Jewel
It’s so hard, isn’t it? In this finger tapping generation to be patient. I remember the day when computers used to run at snail speed, and we had to be patient enough with the dial up internet connection. I remember during college admissions the wait of standing in never ending queues to get my forms submitted to enrol myself for the next year. I remember how being patient was the only way anything would ever get done. And now if you are patient, it’s like a rare jewel that is priceless.
My mother’s patience levels shaped my whole being. Imagine the impact being patient can have on someone’s life. It literally can make or break someone’s self-confidence.
If you were patient enough to help someone figure out something, teach someone how to make an online payment or patient enough to just sit with that person who is having a bad day, for all you know you gave that person that much needed assurance that they can figure it out eventually. All they needed was someone willing to give their time. This in turn teaches them that they should pay back the reward of patience when they see someone else struggling with anything.
Today everything must be done in one click of a button. If people have to wait five minutes more than assured time, their heart starts to beat at a rapid pace and the lava of anger begins to erupt. But we have forgotten those days where we had to wait for days probably to get a message across or feel grateful that even though things took time to complete, at least it was done in a safe manner.
We rush to work; we are constantly looking at deadlines. We want to see results as soon as possible, forgetting that anything good takes time. Yes, if we are looking for quick fixes, we know how that turns out. But what I am trying to convey is that being patient enough can literally transform lives.
When we tell ourselves that not everyone is like us and that’s what makes the world beautiful, we are literally shaping the behaviour of the people we meet. With us gulping our anger and politely helping others, we are planting a seed of compassion. And that seed has a ripple effect that lasts for a lifetime.
Like the way my mom planted a seed of patience that helps me write and do my bit for the world — share my experiences with the hope that someone out there feels they aren’t the only one feeling the way they feel.
Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks so much for your time!