Friday, February 23, 2007

On Patience....

Note to everyone who reads here: I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not ignoring all of you. Often I am able to visit your blogs but can not comment. The reason I am unable to comment is because of the warped "security words". As my eyesight continues to deteriorate, the double vision is a bear ~ especially when those combinations of letters are warped, too thick or otherwise masked. I can only do perhaps five at a day, some days not even that. Anyway, if you see a comment from me that is a week late, that is why. I love reading the entries and it's really frustrating to have to occasionally skip commenting. Some time in March, I will have eye surgery and this condition will improve. Until then, I have to live with it. Most importantly though, I am not ignoring you guys! I wouldn't do that. -- Chani


Thanks to everyone who left me messages yesterday. I did spend most of the day sleeping, off and on. Today I am a bit better but won't be engaging in any strenuous activity; physical, mental or intellectual. :)

Yesterday while hanging out in the LazyBoy, I gave some thought to patience. It's something that's in such short supply for most people and it's difficult from this vantage point to understand what brings about so much impatience.

No matter how hard we try, we'll never make the river flow any faster than it already does. Being impatient won't change a thing, make our lives any easier or create anything that wouldn't have been created anyway. That kind of energy isn't creative energy.

A few people commented that I seem like a patient person (thank you :) and I suppose that's true enough. Over the years, I've learned that urgency creates a feeling of dis-ease (which ultimately becomes disease), destroys my sense of peace in the world and leads me to make poor decisions.

The comment about patience came from my reaction to the woman at Target who grabbed my wrist. In thinking that through, it occurred to me that if I'd been belligerent or had responded physically, it would have led to a few different possibilities.

It could have escalated into an uncomfortable and undignified yelling match in the middle of the store, causing others to become afraid, concerned or uncomfortable. It could have escalated to a physical confrontation between us which would have caused others to become afraid or concerned, leading to someone calling the manager who would have called the police who would have arrested one of us for assault.

And for all that, nothing would have changed. She would not have changed her thinking about my having a wrist tattoo that she didn't approve of and it wouldn't have eliminated her minor assault on me. (Grabbing or touching someone without permission is the definition of assault.) In addition, I would have lost my dignity by losing cool in public.

So.. it would have caused a lot of upset for absolutely nothing and would have produced no benefit to anyone.

In looking at impatience, it seems to have a lot to do with control. For some reason, human beings in certain settings have to believe that we have individual control over things. Lack of control somehow equates weakness and that is something no one likes.

The truth of the matter is that we have very little control over anything. We can't control the weather. We can't control each other. We can't control events. We rarely control circumstances. But we can control ourselves.

Off to answer Wednesday's comments which also provided me with some gourmet food for thought.




heartinsanfrancisco said...

You are amazing in that you have so much control over yourself. As you point out, we have little control over anything but ourselves, yet most of us respond to rude and aggressive behavior with defensive rudeness and aggression.

So much better to just walk away.

It is wonderful to get to a place in which we recognize that our will cannot make rivers flow faster, and what is more, that they are flowing at exactly the right speed without our intervention.

I think understanding this brings a certain measure of peace.

Laurie said...

You are a very patient, wise person Chani. I have a great deal of respect for you.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I desperately try to adhere to the saying, "Never argue with an idiot....people may have difficulty telling the difference". I am impressed that you held your temper. Touching another person without their permission, is unbelievably out of line.

Penny said...

It's the law's definition of assault, too.

I needed to read this post.

Caro said...

Your post evokes one of my favorite words : surrender...

meno said...

I know that patience is in short supply for me. It's something i fight against all the time. I still don't know from whence it springs though.

MsLittlePea said...

Glad you're feeling better Chani. I'm not sure I would have reacted the same way-not out of anger, but out of fear. I don't think I would've been violent but probably would have loudly ask that she not touch me or probably jerk my arm away. This kind of stuff happens to me a lot. I've been in past situations where I felt I was in danger so I guess I scare easily. On patience---it's definitely something that takes work. An everyday effort on my part for sure.

Pam said...

I am fortunate in that I have always had patience in most things, although there are some people who truly test it. I, too, think it's about control.

In answer to your comment on "The Gorge", sure, we can adopt. =) The peace and beauty of this state is why, 28 years ago, I sold all of my belongings except the necesities, packed those in my car and moved here, from the suburbs south of Boston, to start my life over. Living here has changed me in profound and positive ways.