Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Nick Watts H01-Group 1 This I Believe Final Progect Blogpost
The most crucial component I have come to expect from the virtue of patience is understanding. This understanding is not simply grasping a situation or knowing the application of facts; it is the compassionate side of being human, the ability achieve perspectives alien to one’s own. This principle contributes to the whole of the virtue by making interactions a learning process, where you continuously learn new things about those you interact with. Understanding forces you to become uncomfortable and give your undivided attention to a person or incident you would normally avoid or lack interest. Understanding was one thing I learned early, but its significance to patience came much later.
I was raised in a household where problems and people were to be viewed from multiple angles to fully comprehend the magnitude each presented and the best way to fix the problem or interact with a person. Basically, the more you know, the better the relationship between you and these things will be. And why it may sound strange to mention on paper, I find it to be a practice many employ. I like to think of it as being considerate to our fellows by approaching interaction in a way that is neither offensive nor faux. It provides a middle ground both parties are comfortable in and allows for mutual support and cooperation. Being raised this way has helped me understand the different dilemmas many of us go through, and while my understanding may be skewed due to lack of experience, it does allow me to offer sympathy and support.
As I mentioned earlier, while this form of understanding has been present with me from my instruction at an early age, but its relevance to patience is somewhat recent. In High School, a very good friend of mine was in a terrible car accident; a four car pile-up at 60mph and she was the only survivor. This gave her an extreme sense of survivor’s guilt. The normally excited and jovial person ceased to exist as she pondered the question of why she was still here. Eventually it got bad enough for her parents to ask a group who knew her best to have a type of intervention with her. So one evening we met her at her home and listened, not discussing the event, just listening to her. It was by no means a short process, in fact it was nearly six hours before we called it an evening. She discussed the overlying symptoms of her guilt as we had already heard, but then went deeper into what exactly bothered her so much about it.
Upon finishing her testimonial, it struck me that none of us had moved from our seats, no one had spoken but her, and not one of us had lost interest. It was here that the principle of understanding in relation to patience became most clear. Patience without understanding is just waiting. That is the difference. Giving her our attention and seeing the incident through her perspective gave us the drive to stay patient with her and hear her out to the end. It was more than just the sympathy she had already received already, it was a sense that she was being understood and that even the densest of us could at least come to grasp the merest of what she was going through.
This is perhaps the most touching of experience I have with patience. And whenever I have the opportunity to practice the virtue, I focus on this principle most. I don’t just want to wait, and display my impatience in an ignorant manner. I would much more prefer to be patient and understand the situations and people around me, and turn a waste of time into an influential experience.