Years ago, a woman who knew me as her personal assistant and the waitress at her brother’s restaurant made the comment, “You have the patience of Job.” This caught me off guard because I’d never thought of myself as particularly patient. Now well into adulthood, I’ve been reflecting lately on this patience of mine. Sure, it’s a virtue. But I am not convinced it’s always necessary nor is it always beneficial. There are some people and circumstances in my past that perhaps didn’t deserve my patience!
Aren’t there times when impatience is the virtue? Isn’t healthy boundary setting a form of impatience? Isn’t saying, “You can’t talk to me that way,” a form of impatience? Isn’t realizing what’s not working in your life sooner than later a form of impatience?
Walking along 5th Avenue in front of the main library in NYC recently, I took this photograph. It wasn’t until a few days later that I was reminded that the library lions are named “Patience” and “Fortitude.” I looked up online which lion was which. Sure enough, I had taken a picture of Patience.
I think that he is reminding me to be patient with myself as I examine my relationship to patience.