Recently, I visited an office building looking for a specific and rather difficult to find office space. The location is unique and positioned in an unusual corner. After carefully searching for some minutes with no success, I decided to call for help. I had reached a lady working from home. I described my situation and explained why I even came in person since most of them work from home. She verbally instructed me on how to locate the office, yet, I had no success. At this rate, thirty minutes had passed, and I was getting quite tired of walking in circles in the scorching hot sun. I was also more concerned that I was taking up her time and probably frustrated her with my low acumen for geographic direction. To appease the guilt I felt, I kept on apologizing and thanking her for her time. In fact at some point, I even suggested that she end the call so that I continue the search alone. Yet, this kind lady insisted to stay on the phone with me and reassured me that she is here to help. She patiently waited while I fast-walked from point A to point B while constantly checking in and providing helpful landmarks.
I reflect back to that day and was marveled at the level of patience she had shown me—a complete stranger. I began to ponder: when was the last time I was graced with such patience? More importantly, when was the last time I showed myself such level of patience? With life moving so fast paced, taking the time to sit with someone else and wait on them becomes a very deliberate and intentional act. It takes a conscious effort to extend patience and grace to strangers especially when society is programmed to ‘keep-it-moving.’ The lady on the phone could have kept it moving with the next caller and let me figure out my dilemma on my own. Instead, she sat with me and waited so patiently and kindly—which made a great difference and lasting impact. She was patient with me when I needed it the most, and I was immensely grateful for her time and help.
So I ask, when was the last time you showed yourself and others patience? If you can’t remember, try today.
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