I read an article that has expanded my understanding of patience. My understanding of patience was a very simple thing. If I wanted something to happen then, well, I just wait for it. But there is more to patience than I originally thought.

pragmatic patience

I wanted to use the word pragmatic because it gives the idea that it is actually useful. That being said, there is useless patience, but I don’t want to talk about that for the moment. I want the useful part.

As highlighted in the aforementioned Deseret News post, patience is an active virtue to keep sanity.

When suffering or discomfort happens, our general approach is “let’s just escape it,” said Schnitker. We want a pill, a quick fix to avoid the suffering, the waiting.

She said when we can’t avoid it, we become impatient. But impatience doesn’t just manifest itself as angry, belligerent people. The other side to impatience are those who become so despondent at the desired results not happening in the expected timeframe that they lose heart and give up, said Schnitker.

[…] The goal is to stay in the middle. Not getting angry or despondent, but staying calm and persistent, accepting the uncertainty gracefully for as long as it takes.

“Patience is not minimizing the pain,” said Schnitker. “It’s holding the pain.”

I have wanted to avoid discomfort and pain so many times! Pain and discomfort is never pleasurable to have, of course. Sometimes, I will avoid the conflict to not aggravate any negative emotions. And then when I’m caught up in the middle of something, conflicts may negatively affect my thinking pattern for a while. I can say that I become a bit despondent because what I thought that was going to happen isn’t happening. Instead, there is a conflict going on that I may need to settle or determine where I stand on the issue.

A while ago, a buddy of mine explained that he observed that people are on a road. Portions of those people are close to the edges of the road. Since they are close to the edges of the road they aren’t that safe. He explained that he desired so badly to stay in the middle, because that seems to be where the safe people are.

Staying in the middle is so pertinent to me. I often get involved with a lot of things, because I think that is how I’m going to progress as a human being. But since I get involved in a lot of things, I am at more risk to be exposed to negative situations. I have to be able to manage situations as they are presented. I have found again and again when one situation has tipped emotional balance, I have to try harder to maintain what I can control. The times that I have been able to stay steady, I think I come of personally better! I can know that I have trained myself to be as stable as I can be.


There was more to patience than I thought. In addition to waiting for something to occur, patience also means to accept any situation in whatever moment I may find myself in and to accept that the situation may not go as I expect it to go. In order to do that, I need to put my mental capacity in doing the best thing that I can control while letting what I can’t control out of my focus.