My friend Ana and I were talking about patience recently. I told Ana how I increased patience by getting into the longest checkout line in the supermarket or by counting to fifteen before reaching for a can of peas or unlocking my front door. All the techniques I used are often prescribed for Type A personalities and are professed to grow patience over time.
Ana then told me about a technique that was taught to her, surprisingly enough, by her grandfather! She told me he was well-liked and highly revered by many who knew him. He was kind and known to have a bottomless well of patience.
When Ana was a young girl she had a ball of yarn that had unwound and become a knotted mess. She was upset as she pulled and struggled with the heap of snarled yarn. The more she pulled the loops, the tighter the knots became. Her grandfather came along and seeing the predicament told her, “Let me show you something about patience.” He moved his massive hands very slowly and patiently— threading, looping and tugging— until the maze was unraveled.
Anyone can apply Ana’s experience with her grandfather to many situations in life— especially involving children. Resistance can be a formidable foe, till met with patience, as Ana’s grandfather showed us. Patience can also grow over time and overcome almost any obstacle put before you— all it takes is nurturing and practice.