“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude, while waiting” – Author Unknown
They define patience as the capacity to accept
The capacity to tolerate delay, problems, or suffering
Without getting annoyed or anxious.
They say that a patient person has the ability and willingness
To bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain
Without complaint, loss of temper or irritation.
That patience is a virtue,
Which means, behavior that
Shows high moral standards
Napoleon Hill says “Patience, persistence and perspiration
Make an unbeatable combination for success”
While Leo Tolstoy says that
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”.
But can patience be actually practiced today?
With all the difficult expectations of today’s society
A society that expects lots in a short period of time
That expects quick results, reactions and resolutions.
I say, Yes, thank God
Patience still exists in many places
Some very unexpected.
Imagine that mother who gives birth
Nurtures that helpless soul
Reads stories or sings lullabies until sleep beckons
Who patiently teaches the child how to take a bath,
How to eat appropriately, how to get dressed,
How to comb the hair, how to walk
Who lovingly leaves the crying child
The very first day he goes to school
Patiently providing for the child until it matures
And eventually leaves the nest.
Imagine the person who lays his tomatoes to sell
In a market where he is surrounded by
Numerous other tomato sellers, and
Yet waits patiently for a customer and, lo and behold
He can feed his family at the end of the day.
Imagine that jua kali worker
Who works under the ‘fierce sun’
Which some will call a small enterprise
While others call the informal sector
Patiently creating a variety of high quality pieces
From timber and scrap metal
Using his bare hands
Furniture, carpets, artistic fabricated doors and gates
Cooking utensils, farming tools, building materials and tools
And priceless pieces of art
Who can undoubtedly fix or do
Practically anything upon request.
Imagine the shop owner, or that newspaper vendor
Or the one who manicures and pedicures
The one who plaits hair, that barber
The one selling second-hand (mitumba) clothes
That one who polishes shoe or roasts maize along the streets
Patiently sitting and waiting
Totally at ease about what may or may not come
They seem to have a peace around
But at the end of the day, they take home enough
To provide for their families.
Imagine a farmer
Who patiently prepares the soil
Is patient with the seeds, some of which are eaten by birds
Is patient with the season and hopes that there will not be
Too much sun or too much rain
And then patiently awaits the harvest.
Imagine the patience, the persistence and
The entrepreneurial spirit of a hawker
Who tries to eke a decent living
By selling his merchandise and services
In public transport vehicles, on the streets or door to door
Sometimes facing the wrath of the county administration
Manifested in the form of confiscation of his/her goods by askaris
Who will demand licenses that don’t exist
And the inevitable running battles between the two on the streets.
Imagine the cart (mkokoteni) pusher
Who hires the cart in the morning and pushes it the whole day
Facing challenges with human, vehicle, motorbike and bicycle traffic
But still soldiers on patiently and persistently
Then returns the cart at the end of the day
Having earned his living for that day.
Imagine this 64 year old Japanese man
Whose name is Hisao Mitani
Who is described as the most patient man on earth
Because he daily takes his African spurred tortoise pet
Out for long walks along the streets in Tokyo.
Isn’t this the epitome of patience?
As for me, I am learning and developing patience
Because I know that the fruit is “precious” for those who wait
Patience cultivates a fortitude in people
Patience makes one to learn to endure
Even in difficult circumstances
And do it with grace.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” said Jean-Jacques Rousseau.