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The Concentrated Strength of Patience

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The Concentrated Strength of Patience

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.” – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

As a child walking to school, I irritated my fellow walkers with my quick pace and stubborn refusal to walk at a normal speed. As a young adult I could barely contain my displeasure with slow walkers, slow talkers, slow-moving cashiers, hesitant drivers, etc. Wherever I went, I was surround by the slow-moving masses who were impeding my progress.

My mild-mannered grandmother was prone to smile at me and say just one word, “patience.” That usually resulted in an impatient sigh from me. Some learn patience as part of the natural process of maturation. Others have lessons in patience forced on them by life circumstances. For me that circumstance is multiple sclerosis (MS).

It makes me smile now, to think how annoyed I used to be with the slow-movers of the world. Perhaps it is karma at work that I have joined their ranks.

There are always more chores, more errands, more reasons to rush through our days. We are multi-tasking to such an extent that we often neglect the present moment.

Shopping while texting. Driving while phoning. Watching a movie while playing a game on a hand-held. Networking online while visiting with actual living human beings. The impulse is to move on at the expense of the here and now.

I take a more relaxed view of life these days. I take time to see the people around me — really see them. I notice the scenery and appreciate my surroundings. I am in the moment rather than thinking about my next chore, or trying to accomplish two or three tasks at the same time while giving my full attention to none of them.

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

40 comments

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10:03AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

great reminders

3:29AM PST on Nov 10, 2011

In some ways I'm very good at being present, but in others I try to do several things at once. Patience I something I need to cultivate, especially with people who seem to me slow-of-thinking and/or repetitive. I need to learn more tolerance too!

5:47PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

It's a skill I'm loving to acquire day by day also! And although its hard journey here and there it's totally worth it! :-)

12:44AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

I find patience is probably one of, if not THE most important thing in life. A lack of patience can make ones life miserable and distressful.

4:29PM PDT on Jul 15, 2010

Thank you!

10:06PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

While taking care of my two elderly parents I have many opportunities to practice patience. Much as I love them (can't imagine life without them) I do lose my patience and appreciate your timely reminder. Thank you.

9:01AM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

I can relate to this one. For me it is Auto-Immune disease rather than MS. Once when I was having a bad day I was over-taken by an elderly lady with a walking stick. I had to laugh.

Patience is something I must learn to have - most of all with myself. :)

4:53PM PDT on Jul 7, 2010

Interesting post

4:47PM PDT on Jul 7, 2010

My children have given me the gift of patience and i am so grateful for it. They are just super fun :) I used to be so type A and now I actually listen to other people LOL LOL Ok and i admit that time/aging has helped in this dept. I just don't want to run in circles any more LOL Thanks for the post, Ann :)

3:21PM PDT on Jul 7, 2010

Last night I went to see a movie with a
friend. While waiting in line, the people
in front of me were involved with their
cell phones and the person in back of me
was talking on his. They all drove to this
event (I walked) and it dawned on me that
people don't interact with others when they
have a chance. Sad.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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