Is Patience a Virtue?

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

21 September 2017

I have always preferred to think of myself as an empathetic person, but I don’t think I was always as patient as I have become in the last two years. As an adult, conversing with other adults, I used to assume a few things:


1. They are competent and understand the meanings of words.

2. They can fully read and comprehend written materials.

3. They can carry on a conversation regarding many different topics, professionally or personally.


However, in the last two years, I have become a mother and a seasoned wife. Those two personal aspects of my life have supplied me with patience, a skill that I am still honing, but that I’m grateful to add to my bag of tricks. See, when you are a mom and a wife you need to remember these three things about the people in your household:


1. They do not care what you said or what you meant.

2. They do not understand that you are communicating with them if something else is on their minds.

3. They could not care less about discussing most things you want to discuss.


For instance, if it is time to clean up, your toddler will likely begin to take more toys out or cry in protest. When you want to talk to your husband about Christmas shopping in September, he will usually remember something he must do outside and promptly head out the door. And if you want to have your toddler eat lunch but she wants to play with the iPad, you will have a battle royale on your hands when you try to remove the said iPad from her greasy paws.

But in all those situations, you must remember that you are either A) dealing with someone you will be dealing with for the rest of your life or B) molding a young mind and preparing it for the future. In either of those situations, you must remain calm and go about your intended task with a positive, yet serious demeanor.

So now, when dealing with a client, co-worker, friend or other adults, I always keep in mind that they may not be as competent and all-inclusive as I’d like them to be. They may only read fifteen percent of my email correspondence or pretend to care about the information I have brought to the table. But I just keep in mind the same MO – go about your task with a positive, yet serious demeanor. I may need to ask for approval or signed documentation three times before it is sent. Or I may need to send three email follow ups to get a reply to an original request. But does getting upset and worked up do anything to help the problem? No.

And that, my friends, is patience. Some say it’s a virtue. I say it’s a way of life.