Friday, February 17, 2006


A couple of quotes have come my way in the last week on patience which 'spoke to my condition'...

"Hold to patience in your hearts, my friends, and put it into action when the situation calls for it. Don't let any abusive word from your neighbour stir up hatred in you, and don't allow any loss of things that pass away to upset you. If you are steadfast in fearing the loss of those things that last forever, you will never take seriously the loss of those that pass away; if you keep your eyes fixed on the glory of our eternal recompense you will not resent a temporal injury. You must bear with those who oppose you, but also love those you bear with. Seek an eternal reward in return for your temporal losses." --Gregory the Great

"You will be interested to hear that after giving my mum the Siemens phone to use "It has been a series of ups and downs" but she has "talked it through with her counsellor" and on the whole she feels it has been a positive thing. I have just received her new laptop and am booked in to give her some basic tuition, oh god help me etc etc..
Patience, n. - A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. "
-- Leo P

Patience is something I've usually got a reasonable supply of, yet there are times when I want things done and dusted now, not next week/month/year but by yesterday/last week. I want to be able to go from beginner to expert without passing through years of tedious study and practice because the perfectionist streak in me doesn't like the frustrating stage of half understanding or knowing how something should be done but not being able to get it quite right.

One of the ways I've got around this is to rely on others when it comes to the things that I know I just haven't got a hope of getting as good as I need to be to satisfy my own standards (cheers all you techie people!), but I hadn't really considered before that alleviating my despair could well be contributing to someone else's.... humble apologies where due...

I'm not sure that I'm entirely convinced about 'eternal recompense', or even partially convinced come to that, and 'eternal rewards' sounds like I'd be quicker waiting for a decent integrated public transport system (a test of anyone's patience!). But I suspect in reality the rewards for such patience would normally, one would hope, arrive whilst still alive - if nothing else I guess you have the satisfaction of knowing at least you tried. Anyway a timely reminder none the less.

Cheers to Leo (via Jon & Dad!) and Liz for getting me thinking.


Julian said...

I too struggle with patience. There's so much to be done, and I want to get it done NOW. One thing I've found has helped with my sense of patience is watching things that grow. We planted a garden of mostly natives 5 years ago. At the end of our road there's a park where a lot of native bush has been planted. I've watched these grow slowly but surely, from little plants up to my knees, to towering over my head. It's given me a sense that the 'grow a little bit everyday' can be far more powerful than my 'get it done now' frenzied activity. To me what the quote "eternal recompense" is refering to is not something we have to wait for till the end of our lives, but something we get all the time. The reward for patience is happiness now. We become less attached to the day to day disappointments we create for ourselves by our perfectionist expectations. We become calmer, and more awake to the now that is eternal. At least that's the theory, I can't wait until it's like that for me...

Lovin' Life Liz said...

Patience? What's that? :) It is a hard thing, but children have been teaching me patience in large doses!

Glad that quote helped you, my church bulletian usually has some good ones in it!