Wait man — Or the tireless virtue of patience

What’s a good point to run out of patience?

Bad question.

Who is a good point to run out of patience?

There’s a kind of question that brings Wren & Martin out of the closet.

Our patience levels differ measurably by people. Kids are the undisputed champions of patience tests. You have this rage building up inside you but your face is unable to show for it. Your brain says “If she doesn’t finish her breakfast, dunk her face into the cereal bowl,” but what comes out is, “shall I make you French toast instead?” Kids permanently break the connection between your brain and the rest of your body.

That leaves us with everyone else: family, friends, and the Internet. A reliable outlet for all that pent up rage. Because the rest of them are kids sans the cuteness which means punching them in the mouth is now an option.

And with that, we open doors to a whole new world of regrets. Regrets that add up to an hour of patience at most and a lifetime of sadness at least.

The rationale for impatience is strong: life’s too short to be dealing with idiots. What’s flawed about that ideology is our definition of idiocy:

Someone who doesn’t know better.

Ignorance-shaming is a different league of wicked. It means treating someone badly because they don’t know something you know (or found out an hour ago). If you run out of patience, it just means you did a bad job of explaining things. It means you are the idiot. It means you have been the ignorant one all along.

We have spent an abnormal part of the last decade going batshit over the idea of listening, but we never asked ourselves, what makes us bad listeners in the first place?. Listening is a function of patience. It’s what gives a tenderness to it. Patience holds everything together: Compassion, creativity, clenched fist. Impatience is what you get when this understanding is shattered. Impatience is an irresponsible form of anger. You don’t listen because your anger is a better fashion statement to make. It’s not that you want to be listened to as much as heard of.

Patience isn’t about controlling your anger. It’s about what you are after. It’s about how routinely angry you are with yourself.

Impatience can become the starting point of mindless preoccupation. Most impatience is the result of a human disorder to constantly do something (uniformly half-assed). Our concept of time is the gnawing feeling that there’s no time left.

Patience is a disproportionate virtue of time. An additional 10 minutes will take away nothing but it could mean everything for someone else. It could mean the strength to keep going. It could mean the knowledge that they aren’t alone. It could mean they can be kids again.

Patience is reserved for things of ambition, rarely for things of love. For things that get you somewhere, rarely for people who helped you get there. And why am I telling you all this? Because someday you will find yourself on the other side. With plenty of time left but no one to share it with. Have a good day.

And who is a good point to run out of patience? Only Life. With you.

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