That phrase is a flashback to the ’70’s I know, but sometimes we do just that - we lose our cool. It is so easy to get impatient when we put ourselves first.
So three tomatoes were walking to the store: The father tomato looked back and saw the junior tomato just dawdling, so the father tomato walked back, stepped on the junior tomato and exclaimed, “Ketch up!”
WE want to get something done, WE want to go somewhere and “that bothers ME”, GIVE ME… Focusing on ourselves can cause us to become increasingly impatient.
To change our focus, we need to look at what the other person is doing. We need to see what they want or need to get done, where they want or need to go.
Now, none of us are perfect: yesterday we discovered that our daughter lost her $850 Nikon camera, that we gave her for her birthday. She was being nonchalant about the whole thing, and my wife and I were all up in arms. We lost our cool big time. We lost our patience with her, because she maintained her cool. Was this a justification? No. She knew it would be found, and as it turns out, she left it on the bus. It was returned and so was the calmness
So you might be saying, “OK Thom, how do I do this - when you can’t even do this?”
We have to look at patience like tending a garden. If you start the garden with seed, plant it, water it, weed the garden; after that first day is over, you still will not see harvest until the plant has finished growing.
Patience has to be planted, you have to tend to it, just like a garden, and then you have to wait. Getting patience does not happen immediately: ironically enough, it takes patience to get patience.
You cannot just assume you will have patience just because you want it, you have to work for it, you have to cultivate it, and when you “Lose your cool man,” that is just a weed, so take it out.
My wife use to say she prayed for patience, and so we had our first three children in our first five years of marriage: She kept praying and we kept having kids. Those kids did test our patience, but we grew and so did our patience.
Patience is also part of love. My wife is so patient with me, but that is because she loves me - and the feelings are reciprocated. We love our children, so we patiently wait for them to get where we need them to go.
Pet peeves kill patience
Now I know we all have those pesky pet peeves that make us lose all concept of patience. I use to hate it when people rubbed their nails, or used a nail file. It would literally set my teeth on edge, and I had to leave the room. I can remember several times where I would get irate at someone who was doing this. As my daughter use to tell me: I was feeding my pet.
Then I married a nail tech, and I had to get use to the noise. Now it is no longer my pet peeve.
My youngest son hates people chewing. My wife hates it when people hang up without saying goodbye. My oldest son hates limp handshakes. These are all things that can separate us from those around us if we let our pet peeves build walls, we will never get to know our neighbors, no matter where they are geographically.
Can you learn patience? Most certainly you can. Is it difficult and sometimes painful? Most certainly it is. Is it achievable? Without question – anyone with a little patience – can become more patient.
Be more patient, enjoy people and stop feeding your pet (your pet peeve that is, please keep feeding your dog, cat, bird or fish).