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What to do with a broken heart...

The Value of Patience

Waterhouse_theSouloftheRose-How many times do people tell us to be patient?

Apparently, patience is a highly regarded trait. And the fact that I'm not patient has been brought to my attention by others as a defect. I disagree. I don't see patience as something to aspire to. Yet, it is generally considered an element of good character. One which we try  to instill in our children. But what does being patient really mean? And is patience actually something we should possess in order to be happy and healthy?

I don't think so. I do not value patience, because I see it as something that justifies a belief-system that dis-empowers. So, I'm here to challenge you to reconsider patience as a virtue.

According to Dictionary the definition of Patience is: Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint or Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

So, having patience is the ability to tolerate unbearable circumstances without complaint, and to allow injustice and incompetence to thrive, by keeping an attitude of indifference. As I see it, when someone says, "be patient" what they are saying is, "shut up and put up". And it concerns me that such a thing is considered a virtue.

By encouraging this quality, we create a condition where acknowledging discomfort, or speaking up against it, is discouraged. It sets up an environment were lack of action becomes a legitimized excuse for not making changes to better ourselves or our world. How can this be a good thing?

Seeing patience as a good quality, blinds us to the role it plays in creating and continuing the bad situation by giving credence to feeling righteous in ignoring an unhappy realty -- silently agreeing to living dishonestly by not acknowledging the problems.

Continuing to endure the unendurable by keeping silent, creates victimization. I'm not saying that there are no circumstances where good people are victimized by bad people. I remember 9/11 and I have had crimes committed against me. What I'm saying is - we participate in our own victimization when we patiently stand by. And we give psychologically credence to this by calling patience a virtue.

A person who willingly stands by (practicing patience), puts themselves in a situation where they become the victim of circumstances or, more accurately, a victim of themselves. By emotionally disengaging from their dissatisfaction in a given situation they become unresponsiveness and numb to their discomfort - unable to engage in life fully. Ignoring discomfort, weighs heavily on self-esteem and cultivates a way of thinking that determines behavior. Because, when we ignore our needs, we ignore ourselves and our value - diminishing our self-worth.

The belief that taking action against something painful (or even expressing dissatisfaction) is the wrong thing to do, sets us up to act as if things are okay, when they are not.

I'm impatient because I have little tolerance for putting up with bullshit.

I value myself and each moment of my life too much to waist time on being patient. For me, the ability to silently contend with a bad things seems like a cop out; a justification for standing still in a very uncomfortable place; a way to feel good about being a victim; and a set up for an unsatisfying, unhappy, unhealthy life. Quite the opposite of a virtue, I think.

As I've said before, patience is not a virtue, it is a weakness.


Mark Dinor

What your writing against is not patience, it's repression and a dictionary definition.

You might as well follow the dictionary's definition of "Love" if that's your literary bible.


I think you understand my point. But no, I'm not writing against repression in this post - although that's a thought maybe I should.

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