‘Patience’ is derived from the Latin word ‘pati’ meaning ‘to suffer’ and from the dictionary:
Synonyms: patience, long-suffering, resignation, forbearance
These nouns denote the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint. Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay: Our patience will achieve more than our force (Edmund Burke).
Long-suffering is long and patient endurance, as of wrong or provocation: The general, a man not known for docility and long-suffering, flew into a rage.
Resignation implies acceptance of or submission to something trying, as out of despair or necessity: I undertook the job with an air of resignation.
Forbearance denotes restraint, as in retaliating, demanding what is due, or voicing disapproval: “It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other” (Patrick Henry).
Many a character in Victorian novels was named Patience and it continues to be used in some parts of the world (843rd in popularity ranking!!). Being patient was considered a Christian virtue.
I was curious about the word, as we use it often, and the lack of it has been one of the characteristics of my personality for most of my life. So, the curiosity was driven by a recent remark of my daughter that she needed to learn patience from me!! “From me???” thought I!!” And is it a quality that marks virtue?
‘Patience’ as a characteristic, I think, more an expression emanating from the failure of ourselves or those around us to meet expectations. I get impatient when those providing services (shopkeepers, tellers at the check out counters etc) are slower than I expect them to be, when I or others around me don’t perform to my expectations.
So, if I was impatient before and have become patient now, is it that my expectations from myself and those around me have decreased! Is that a good thing? Is it that I am patient around Gopal because my brain has accepted the fact that there can be no expectations? Does my patience, extend to others as a consequence? Or do we all have a pre-set patience-to-impatience ratio in our heads, and increased patience in one sphere pushes us to more impatience in some other? Speculations with no answers in sight…… but I am glad that I have been able to call upon some inner ‘patience store’ when it was needed. And of course, in this I must thank all those around me, my mother most of all.