Patience: Calmly confront whatever circumstance presents itself; absorb each blow that life brings
I should probably tape this to my rear-view mirror. I’ll explain…
As a general rule, I’m fairly patient. At times, my two Uberdox kids do grind my nerves, but I love them, and usually that love over-rides any impatience I might have. I use to be the opposite. This is a midah that I work on constantly. Sometimes I’ll notice myself geting uptight, or impatient and just stop what I’m doing and count backwards from 30 to 1. That usually helps me. I find that when I’m driving someplace and I can’t control the flow of traffic, or a red light, or someone not using their turn signal, is when I feel that lack of patience creep in.
Rav Yisrael implores us to “calmly confront whatever circumstance presents itself“. I guess I need to review my notes on Tranquility (Find an inner calmness; do not be overwhelmed; always act with deliberation). If I go into every situtation with true menucha then a direct result should be savlanus. No matter what difficulty arises I have the ability to approach it with patience.
Look, this might seem like fluff, but it’s true. At least, for me it is. I’m not anyone special. I struggle with tuition payments, have trouble waking up in the morning, and I’m blogging instead of getting of collecting laundry. I also believe in how Rav Salanter’s Midos can help change me and make me into a better Jew. Life is difficult, there’s no question. Sometimes our Yeter Hara works overtime. I wrote, very personally, about that in my last posting. The RAMCHAL, in Mesillas Yesharim, states that life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s suppose to be a challenge. I have, at times faced horrific life situations and ordeals. I also once really hurt myself building my sukkah. Life is not meant to always be a trip to Six Flags. When things don’t go right, I need to exercise patience. Patience is something that I can control and use to my advantage.
Absorb each blow that life brings. That’s our job in life. Relationships don’t work out the way we always plan them to. Our car doesn’t start in the morning. You put salt in your coffee on day instead of sugar (I did this once at work, it was December 1995. I will never make that mistake again). I need to be like a sponge or some NASA-spawned space foam that absorbs every difficulty. I don’t need to stop each blow that life brings (read challenge), but I do need to slow them down. If I let challenges and difficulties get buffered before I internalize them, it’s probably easier to cope.
There are some things that I’m impatient for. Today, listening and say kinos, I couldn’t wait for our Galus to end. I’m still waiting. I can’t wait for a huge cup of coffee (I can’t help it, I love coffee). I really didn’t really miss listening to music, although Piamenta will be played tomorrow at work. I also couldn’t wait to daven Mincha today. I truly missed my tallis and tefillin this morning. I felt a lacking. Maybe that was the point.
I was, thanks to technology, able listen to Rav Moshe Weinberger’s teleconference tonight before mincha. I felt a little guilty. I think I enjoyed it too much (Frum Idlealist knows exactly what I mean). One thing he said that really hit home was that then the Churban happened Klal Yisrael was hit with a moment of emes. We realized that we didn’t have our Father with us anymore. Rav Weinberger used the example of when a child is sent away from the Shabbos table. The child cries and cries because they miss their mom and dad… and they miss a chance for a bracha. We’ve been sent away from the Shabbos table, twice now.
Parashas Va’eschanan starts out with Moshe pleading to go into Eretz Yisrael. Hashem answers, “It is too much for you!” (pasuk 26). Rashi says that much more is in store for you (in Olam Haba). More that the land of Eretz Yisrael. Much is the goodness that is kept for you. (Sifrei)
We see from this that good things come to those who wait. It’s not just patience, it’s how we exercise it that matters. I hope you have a good Shabbos Kodesh.
Several of Rav Weinberger’s shiurim are available for free by clicking here. I found the “Judging Others Favorably” mp3 to be excellent. Check it out, if you have time.
I hope you have a good Shabbos Kodesh and a comforting one, as well. Thanks for reading.
Neil: I really enjoy all your postings on Middos. Keep up the good work!
That was a great post thanks. Patience is a tough one always working on it. Especially with kids.
ASJ: Thanks. The basis for this was a few small notes I made years ago, the blog really gives me a better platform for writing them out. It’s been a positive project for me, so far. Thanks for reading.
anonbob: I think the development of email has only hurt my work on patience. At times kids are the ultimate test. I try to remember that Hashem gave me my children for a reason, they were tailor made for my wife and I to deal with. Thanks for reading.