September 10
How can a society that exists on
instant mashed potatoes, packaged
cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant
cameras teach patience to its young?

Paul Sweeney


Today's Meditation:

If we don't like what our young people are becoming, then we really shouldn't point our fingers at them and blame them.  Rather, we should look very carefully and honestly at what we've taught them as teachers and as role models, and then ask ourselves what we would have turned out like if we had had those same lessons when we were young.

Patience is a virtue that can help young people if they learn it.  So much of what we do poorly at in life has to do with being impatient and not allowing processes to take the time they need to come to term.  Life works in its own time, and impatient people are constantly trying to modify it in order to meet their perceived needs, a strategy that almost always ends in failure.  I watch young people quit a sport because they're not a superstar their second day at it; I see kids get frustrated and give up because they get an "D" on their first paper, instead of realizing that they have a whole school year ahead of them during which they'll have plenty of opportunity to learn enough to get and "A" or a "B."

In our society, we have plenty of influences that try to convince us that things need to be sped up.  There are plenty of commercials that try to convince us that faster is better so that we'll buy their products that take less time than those of their competitors.  And we buy into it, even though the quality of the quick product very often is much lower than that of the competitor's product.  And how often are we yelling at kids to hurry up, so that we can get to the mall at 10:25 instead of 10:35?  It's a sad world when we can't relax and take our time for most things.

Patience.  We definitely should practice it ourselves so that our young people learn it from us.  If we do so, we're making our lives more pleasant and we're providing a role model that can give kids a great tool in their lives for dealing with life's frustrations, instead of teaching them to be impatient themselves.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people have to do so many things so darn quickly?

What are some of the advantages to having developed patience in our lives?

How will patience help young people if they're able to develop it?

For further thought:

The greater our hurry, the longer the way;
the greater our patience, the sooner we reach the goal.

German proverb

More on patience.


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