Is Patience a Virtue?


“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” – Sir Isaac Newton

I took a lesson on Patient along this shoreline at Sembawang Park the other day. With my Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot camera phone, I waited patiently. The slightest movement I made, the ‘timer’ would reset and I would have to wait for another 5-10 minutes. What was I waiting for?

Could I have just walked to the shoreline, asked the little crabs to come out from their hidings to let me take some photos of them? I did try but I failed terribly.

Walking directly to the crabs would send them scurrying into the openings between rocks and within seconds, it seemed as if they just vanished into thin air.

Then I tried standing still to wait for them to appear. After a while, they started to explore the surroundings carefully and slowly from the openings. Upon seeing that, I made the mistake to squat down too quickly and they were gone.

I learned my lessons well from the mistakes I made. I squatted very still and aimed the camera phone at the openings where the crabs appeared before. Patiently I waited and it paid off. Within 5-10 minutes, the crabs started appearing from the openings again.

First there was only 1 daring crab which came out to explore, then 2, 3, 4 and it went on, coming out from the different openings between rocks. Before I knew it, I saw about 10 of them around me. With as little abrupt movement as possible this time, I aimed and focused my Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phone at one of the largest crabs.

And the result? The second picture above. There is still a limitation on the camera phone. Pardon me for the poor shot. However, through this incidence, I realized how much professional photographers must have gone through to capture all those spectacular moments; how many hours of waiting for that close to perfect shot?

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

If they had not been enormously patient, could Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein turned out to be great scientists?

In one of Leonardo da Vinci‘s quotation, he mentioned, “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.

And for anyone who love gardening, what can you share about patient on gardening? I believe that patience and persistence are two key attributes to a lovely garden?

And the work of farmers who are still using traditional methods of farming. How many hours did they have to plough in the field, look after the seedlings before they can have a good harvest. Not to mention, they are under the mercy of Mother Nature.

And parents, what can children teach you about patience?

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bk

Founder of Symphony of Love and find his meaning in life in inspiring love, peace and happiness.
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19 thoughts on “Is Patience a Virtue?

  1. Marlene

    I do believe that patience is a virtue. Think about how some people become if they don’t have patience. Some would easily become outrageous and tend to make unacceptable behaviours. Some would give up and let life go asunder.

    If Sir Isaac Newton wasn’t patient enough to come up with how gravity works, he wouldn’t have paid attention to the apple that fell on the ground then.

    In hindsight, you had a good lesson on patience. Those crabs helped you test your patience, too.

    Marlenes last blog post..Let’s Go Green!

  2. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Marlene, good to see you around here. True to a great extent, a lot of radical actions that we can see in our everyday lives can be attributed to the lack of patience; the aggressive actions, fights between each other over small matters, the reckless driving on the road, the jumping to conclusion etc. These are just the tip of the iceberg. If we look around us, a lot of misunderstandings and arguments can be avoided if we are just a bit more patient. Those crabs certainly gave me a good lesson on patient.

  3. the fearless blog

    I must admit I lack patience…well some patience. My students claim that I am very patient with them and I tend to be very patient with my boys as I constantly remind myself that they are free spirits, learning, adaptating and changing as they grow. However, when it comes to my own personal goals or difficulties, I lack true patience. Thank God, good friends surround me and guide me every day. I work hard at quieting my restlessness, especially during troublesome times. I used to react too quickly and because of it made numerous mistakes when I was younger. I want to believe that I have learned from those painful lessons. I agree with much of what your write. Patience opens doors while a lack of patience could lead to negative consequences. Ironically, just today I commented to my brother that “patience was not my virtue.” How funny I now find myself reading and commenting on your post. Is this a sign? ;>) Thank you…I needed to read this today.

    the fearless blogs last blog post..Preparing for a Sun Dance

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ the fearless blog, this could indeed be a sign; beware of what you say. 😉

      A lot of times we are more lenient to others and hard on ourselves. Thus the challenge is to learn to be patient with ourselves too. There is another quote on patience, by Thomas Jefferson, which I found while writing this post, “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” Some life’s lessons cannot be taught, sometimes we need to live them out.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Penny, I guess no human is perfect and there will be time we may get a little impatient. There is a quotation which give the analogy of growing muscle is like growing patience; we need to train it and we will get better. As we get older and going through life’s many experience and hopefully we grow up too, we will acquire patience along the way. :)

      @ Marcellinus, as shared in one of my above comments, a man with patience is definitely in advantage at most time. :)

  4. Tammy-Cricket

    Oh…I love this BK. This is one of the hardest lessons that I am facing with my teen. Patience is so easy to describe. I know that “I” am the example to my children and I try my hardest to show it.

    I loved this story. Some things are worth the wait. YOu know…usually everything is worth the wait.

    Tammy-Crickets last blog post..The Fading Daisy

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Tammy, children can teach us a lot of things … patience for instant. This is a quotation by someone, which I can’t remember at this moment. Got to Google for it later. And I believe too that usually everything is worth waiting for. :)

  5. Paul

    I stumbled upon this site.

    Good source of reflection…

    Patience is a virtue especially if something is attainable and worth waiting for. Just like the experience you shared.

    However, reality has it that sometimes, there are things which are not ought waiting for. Things that do not give us a glimpse of hope. In this manner, it gives us a point to change course. To trascend beyond our expectations. Better yet, this still spells patience. That is why, it is called a virtue.

    Pauls last blog post..Bulusan Church, a dying heritage?

  6. Chelle

    My kiddos have taught me more patience than I ever thought possible :) Right now I am practicing patience as I wait for baby #3 (she’s due any day now!)

  7. Ben

    I definitely do agree that patience is a virtue, one which isn’t easily mastered. Patience seems to stem from the other attitudes and moods. If I’m angry or discouraged or feeling rushed, I notice that I’m also a lot less patient as well. I like your pictures of the crab. It looks purple. I didn’t think they came in that color. Very cool.
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Romantic Thoughts that Must Be Done =-.

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