Every summer, we planned a few excursions with our three children. We loaded them in the car and sandwiched them in, the youngest always in the middle. After an hour, one or all began to ask the age-old question.
“Are we there yet?”
Children today watch movies or zone out on a tablet. Earphones in place, they lose track of time and one another. Despite these modern gadgets of the digital world, at some point, you may still hear “the question.”
The word nerd went exploring for the origin of patience. I didn’t have to wait for Google to dish up the Online Etymology Dictionary, where I learned that patience came from the old French and the Latin, patienta.
Patience: “quality of being willing to bear adversities, calm endurance of misfortune, suffering.”
I never thought of patience as suffering, but that explains the whining. Those poor children were suffering.
We laugh about the impatience and slow passing of time in children, but I know many adults, namely myself, who still ask another similar question.
“Am I there yet?”
My “suffering” changed over the years as I counted the days before finishing school, until my wedding, the children grew out of diapers, or the next phase of life that might afford more ease and leisure time.
All of those life events did come—and passed. But I often find myself asking “the question” again. I am always looking for what I can learn and improve about myself and the world around me. Will I ever be “there” wherever “there” is?
I hope not because I’ve learned that “am I there yet” doesn’t mean suffering through life. Instead, the question keeps my creativity, curiosity, and wonder alive and well.
Patience isn’t always the problem. We often need to know how to build persistence when we’re lost.
If you know a small, squirmy child who needs a lesson in patience, Zac Efron and Elmo give a simple explanation. I enjoyed the reminder, too.
The Lumineers wrote Patience, a brief mesmerizing instrumental piece. I enjoyed this young pianist’s cover of the song.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” —A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Find a little wonder this week, perhaps a bird or two.
BTW: May 4 (May the fourth be with you) was also “Bird Day.”
Bird photography requires a healthy dose of waiting patiently for the subject to come into view. My friend, Stan, has abundant patience, creativity, and skill with his camera.
My sincere thanks to Stan for allowing me to share his amazing photography.
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