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Keeping the peace within shines out

Keeping the peace within shines out

Patience is a virtue the old saying goes but it seems now that our doors and windows are swinging wide open again following a couple of years of keeping more to ourselves, impatience is running at an all time high. To me, it feels like more than ever before in my now fairly long lifetime, impatience is touching our lives in a variety of ways, none of the least of which is showing up as impatience with each other.

When we were little kids, waiting with our Grandma Lillie in a car for our Grandpa at a lumber contractor (he was a carpenter in California) we didn’t have devices, like today’s ever-present distractions, but luckily we had Grandma who was a “whiz” (her word) at coming up with games on the spot. She had such an imaginative sense of humour, a personal library in her memory of fun songs, jokes, riddles and tall tales. Her patience was seemingly endless. She’d often tell you she enjoyed waiting and people watching and she was the most respectful, kind and polite person to everyone who crossed her path.

Are we losing patience with simple manners? I wonder sometimes. It doesn’t take much to offer thanks, greet someone or ask how they are doing and often taking that time delivers an unexpected reward when we just stop in the course of our busy lives to reach out.

Another aspect of our busy lives that seems to take over all too often is the stress that follows impatience. It only takes a moment to offer praise for a job well done, show gratitude or offer a few kind words that may actually make someone’s day less stressful. Simple things? Maybe. But these moments in time when we offer a few kind words, hold a door open for someone overloaded with bags, or take a little time to just listen can impact a person’s life so positively.

Manners, patience and respectful kindness take such little effort rather than the all too common curt replies, cynical skepticism, impatient retorts or all too often ‘road rager’ gestures when driving or waiting in a vehicle.

A wave of thanks to a driver letting you merge in is so much better than flipping someone off or yelling something they can’t even hear.

I think of the example of my Grandma with such pride now, having never heard a single swear word leave her lips, or see her publicly angry at anyone and never anything but kind and polite. She seemed so ‘at peace’ and I think just that thought and her example makes me feel a sense of peace and calm myself.

When you are rushing around in your busy day, take a minute to think of someone you remember as an example of patience in your own life and enjoy some watching to help soothe your frazzled nerves for a minute. Can’t hurt. Might just be that you are the key to your own ‘keeping the peace’ in your neck of the woods today.

About the Author: Hettie Buck

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