Virtue of the Week: Patience

Patience is like getting a haircut

Patience Is Like Getting a HaircutWe all have been at the point of frustration at some time in our life. You know that place where you feel like you are stuck and you can’t move forward. I am talking about that place where we know we need to shave, cut, clip or wax some people, things, and behaviors out of our lives but instead we hold on to them. Instead of getting out there to hustle, we would rather throw a tantrum, complaining about how things never go our way, or put the blame on everyone else but ourselves. Our life experiences can be just like getting a haircut. Patience is the key. We have got to learn to be patient and wait for our season. Success in anything takes time. You have to be molded, shaped and transformed to look like a completely different person than you were when the haircut started. What good is going to the barber if you come out looking the same. In your life, you may feel like you are being overlooked. There might even be some things you think you are entitled to. In your own eyes you are ready to walk the red carpet but in reality ………………there is toilet paper stuck on the bottom of your shoe.

I have a secret I have to share with you. All things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. If we learn to not rush through our lives and give the barber a chance to finish our haircut, we can come out looking better than we ever had our entire life. So, no matter how long you have been waiting, stay in the chair. This is a great opportunity to observe the scenery and learn from the experience of others in the shop.

All that wiggling, whining and complaining does…. is get you a bad haircut.

Good things come to those who wait. Why is it that our young people can’t seem to wait for anything? They want instant gratification. They seem to all have lowered capacities for episodic future thought, the ability to bypass the “instant” and make choices that will yield higher long term benefits. I contend that it is our technology that has caused this. Today’s youth have been so saturated with video games and realistic visual technology that they have diminished imaginations. You don’t have to use your imagination when everything (and I mean everything!) happens right there on the screen in front of you. Having diminished imaginations makes it harder for our kids to envision the future. To envision a better future. To bypass short term gratification and patiently wait for a better long term benefit. Why should they wait if they can’t envision the future? All they see is here and now.

So how do we help them?

  1. Turn off that video game, get them to read a book, and start using their imaginations again.
  2. We can do a better job of teaching kids about the difference between temporal and eternal.
  3. We can do a better job of painting vivid pictures for our kids of both the benefits of patience and long term rewards, as well as the ugliness and painful consequences of a lifestyle of instant gratification.

We can do a tremendous service for our kids by helping them re-engage their imaginations and put them to work envisioning better futures. Let’s teach them about patience and the rewards it brings.