Patience is a difficult companion

Patience…

Over the last many months, especially after the lock down was slowly lifted, one of the most common terms in use – was/ is ‘Patience’. Now, a lot of us and I believe a majority of us, are NOT patient. We have always been used to being on the move or ‘getting things done’. A large number of us are folks who like to drive any manner of vehicle reasonably fast or travel in a fast moving vehicle. We get excited when we hear that aircraft can travel at speeds of 1 MACH and above. Car advertisements tell us that cars can go from 1-60 KMPH in x number of seconds. ( It doesn’t tell us that we often drive bumper to bumper in cities or that there is a pothole every 100 feet and the chances of your super fast vehicle getting damaged is more likely).

Just imagine if we read an advertisement for a car/ bike which said, forget the speed, we will get you there. You would possibly wonder at what the point was. If a travel catalogue said, don’t worry, be patient, we will get you there. I am not so sure you will buy the car/bike or take that vacation. You have been brought up to believe that you have only one life, don’t waste it. Going slow is considered a waste of our limited time. Yet, today we are told, be Patient, Patience is the name of the game etc.

I am not a patient person so this phase with it’s emphasis on patience is extremely difficult for me. I am having to remold a 58 year old body and mind to become patient. Do not react quickly. Wait for the right time. Hold on. Things will get better. The other guy will blink first ( even though tears are coming out of my eyes by my not blinking). This is very difficult.

What do we do to overcome this ?

We just have to be patient. Rather, in my view, we need to be a lot more patient than we were before. 100% may not work but try for 90%. If not at least 85% improvement in patience. Finally, if even that is not possible go down to 75%, empty your lungs and take in a deep breath. Get back to being as patient as possible.

Remember one thing. We are not enjoying patience. So, it seems to be taking too long. If we are watching a good movie – time flies, a not so good movie and you keep looking at your watch. We just do not know how to enjoy patience. How to look out of the window, watch the various sights, some of which you have never noticed in all these years. No clients are coming in, no money is coming in, work is very slow. What do you do? Try doing different things. Will it work? Only time will tell.

I am an ardent angler and fishing is my passion. Now, it goes totally against my nature of being impatient. So, how do I manage it? I realised that the only way to be good at fishing is to be patient. From my young days my friends in my village taught me fishing skills. They drilled it into me that I should not pull the line out when the fish were merely nibbling. Allow the fish to pull the bait in and then yank it out. Easy to say but damn difficult to do. So, I assumed different stances so that my natural reaction to pull were negated.

Fishing for Mahseer..

Somewhere in the mid ’90’s I began to go fishing in the River Cauvery, near Kanakapura Sangam. My guru was my senior and old friend Anil B. Boy, he had patience. He had so much patience that you could assume he was often comatose while fishing. Cigarette smoking was all that we did that could show we had life. Catching Mahseer is a lifetime experience. Anglers have spent a life time and never caught one. This is game fish and it taught you to be patient. I was lucky to bring in a 38 pounder ( I have a picture to show it, don’t trust fishermen with no pictures :-)) It took me almost 40 minutes to bring the fish in from the time I had snagged it. Huge patience was required. The line is never as strong as the fish so any lack of patience and…

Am I digressing?

No, I am not. This period is one where we need to build stamina to have patience. Do everything we can to keep our mental and physical health in shape. This is a dark and smoggy period. Dim and brighten your lights to see the median on the road. Don’t stop – you will get hit. Keep moving but move slowly, carefully.

Take it from me, this is a unique time. We just need to be patient. Do NOT panic. ( I am actually helping myself stay patient and calm by writing this blog). Do not keep reading about the virus or the number of cases or the deaths. It doesn’t help you one bit. Just makes you anxious. Remember this thing – Almost everyone is in the same boat. 

Your neighbour seems happy, so does your friend and his girl friend or partner. Parties are happening. Why am I the only one who seems to be in a ‘hole’? Do you have an idea of what the others are going through deep inside? Two people I spoke/ met with last week said – Hey, you still don’t look old and weary. I smiled – I said I have two options – smile and be patient or cry and lose the plot. I’m trying hard with the former. I didn’t tell them –  God knows how I’m hurting inside.

So, to end, this is a very difficult period I know and we all know. Lets draw upon our inner talents, our experience and if possible  get a little help from our friends and wait it out. We are bound to win. Or, Survive – which is equal to winning. Cheers..drink slowly too ( what my family keeps telling me )…there really is no hurry at this time.

Comments(6)

  1. Important topic, Mr V. It can be so very hard to be patient

    September 05, 2020 at 13:22
    • Thanks TP. It is the hardest thing for me..

      September 06, 2020 at 07:02
  2. Its a hard time for us all . I pity the younger gen.
    Yes we can be as patient as we possibally can ,but
    a student who has just graduated , what do we say to him? Be patient , you will get a job some day ?
    I for one , have a farm , so i keep busy there.
    But like you say , no money being earned
    Here in India we have been hit by the virus as well as a failing economy . So, its a pretty gloomy situation . One has to keep busy it some way or other in order to keep sane .Perhaps , helping others who are worse off, is one way to keep a positive outlook . But , like you said , one has to keep going .My mom used to say , keep busy ,keep working all the time .If you rest , you rust !!
    Cheers !!

    September 06, 2020 at 11:24
    • Agree completely with what your mum said Ed, just have to keep busy. Thanks for your kind words.

      September 06, 2020 at 13:14
  3. A well elucidated article, Mr. Varghese. I liked the way you integrated the intended message, with a sprinkle of humour. Enjoyed reading it.

    Me being a corporate professional for a large part of my career and a recent novice entrepreneur, had to often grapple with being patient because a lot would have gone into strategizing and forecasting, so as to ensure that the business stays on course, as planned. In the event of the business slowing down due to a plethora of circumstances, impatience kicks in and soon enough brings with it, a dose of anxiety too.

    I am then reminded of the quote, ‘Patience is a virtue’….and therefore summon all my inner strength, to get into the patience mode.

    Your take on the current unprecedented situation and the way to deal with it is quite profound.

    September 11, 2020 at 09:59
    • Thanks so much Sajit. Humour is the only way we can keep our sanity. I can fully understand your frustration. Believe me when I tell you, I am struggling to stay patient.
      However, we will find a way to be patient. Cheers

      September 11, 2020 at 12:19
  • Tilak Ponappa says:

    Important topic, Mr V. It can be so very hard to be patient

  • Edgar britto says:

    Its a hard time for us all . I pity the younger gen.
    Yes we can be as patient as we possibally can ,but
    a student who has just graduated , what do we say to him? Be patient , you will get a job some day ?
    I for one , have a farm , so i keep busy there.
    But like you say , no money being earned
    Here in India we have been hit by the virus as well as a failing economy . So, its a pretty gloomy situation . One has to keep busy it some way or other in order to keep sane .Perhaps , helping others who are worse off, is one way to keep a positive outlook . But , like you said , one has to keep going .My mom used to say , keep busy ,keep working all the time .If you rest , you rust !!
    Cheers !!

    • Koshy Varghese says:

      Agree completely with what your mum said Ed, just have to keep busy. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Sajit Joy says:

    A well elucidated article, Mr. Varghese. I liked the way you integrated the intended message, with a sprinkle of humour. Enjoyed reading it.

    Me being a corporate professional for a large part of my career and a recent novice entrepreneur, had to often grapple with being patient because a lot would have gone into strategizing and forecasting, so as to ensure that the business stays on course, as planned. In the event of the business slowing down due to a plethora of circumstances, impatience kicks in and soon enough brings with it, a dose of anxiety too.

    I am then reminded of the quote, ‘Patience is a virtue’….and therefore summon all my inner strength, to get into the patience mode.

    Your take on the current unprecedented situation and the way to deal with it is quite profound.

    • Koshy Varghese says:

      Thanks so much Sajit. Humour is the only way we can keep our sanity. I can fully understand your frustration. Believe me when I tell you, I am struggling to stay patient.
      However, we will find a way to be patient. Cheers

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