SOMETIMES YOU CAN BE IMPATIENT
Patience is a great quality that everyone needs. We need to be patient to get results from what we have sacrificed and made so much input. While we so need this quality, to achieve great things require some cool headed impatience.
I picked this line from Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher. He said, “let him have the courage to be impatient.” You may be tinkling your head on why he did not say “let him have the courage to be patient.” Lincoln understood that patience does not require any courage as much. One could just quietly sit and be patient, accepting mediocrity as the rule. He knew that if he would have to achieve great things, he would have to go gaga over it. He would need some degree of impatience that requires courage to enact.
When you lead people, as much as you are positive and patient with them, you cannot get the best from them until you show some degree of impatience with their growth and capability. You will have to stand up to them and tell them at their faces that you want more from them.
It was tough for Lincoln having to work with some crazy persons in his cabinet who were dragging his government down. Some of them were imposed on him by the powers that be (the kingmakers). He accepted them anyway but expected them to work. While he needed to be patient with them, he observed that if he waited too long, he would not get results as soon as he wanted. He had to push them to act by taking the courage to stand up to them and expect results.
Abraham understood as a guiding principle that it gets to point in life when one would have to be impatient. He knew that there was a general ethical consensus on the need for patience as a necessary virtue. He felt his son could be so entangled with this life virtue that he would accept patience as the status quo. He said “teacher, teach this guy that he would have to have some impatience else he won’t get anything out of life.”
The best you want is you standing up and refusing to accept the prevailing status. While you have to be patient sometimes, patience does not work for all the cases. You have to kick your impatient aside and get to work. It won’t be easy trying to be impatient as you may act odd or be considered odd, but you have to know what you want and go for it.
Parents have to be patient with their wards, so teachers say. A child will develop slowly into maturity with time. True, but you can propel that growth by becoming impatient. An impatient parent will say, “My son cannot fail again so I have to do something about it now. I cannot be patient and continue to see you fail. No. let’s change school and get new tutors and perhaps I will get home tutors to help.” Impatience kicks you to speedy action propelling you to tinker on ways you could get faster better results.
Teachers are some of the most patient people on earth. Imagine how Abraham Lincoln son’s teacher could have felt after reading this line “let him have the courage to be impatient.” He would have thought like “Mr. Abraham is damn wrong.” Teachers do have to know that they have to be impatient sometimes. Yes, they have being taught patience at the teachers college and they have to be patient with all the students to ensure all the students understand. Sometimes the students do not understand and you throw the responsibility to patience. “With time you will understand,” they will say.
Will you patiently wait until the time they will understand? When a teacher becomes impatient, he wakes from his slumber and begins to think of what he has to change to become a more effective teacher. He thinks of what method he has to apply to pass across his idea effectively to the students. When he becomes impatient, he finds solutions to problems that had once eluded him
We do not just have to wait to get results. Yeah, patience is great especially when you have applied all the rules of the game and you are expecting results. Off course the result will come, but it will take some good time. However, impatience drives you to thinking how to get the results now.
While we must learn patience as a useful guiding principle, understand that you need impatience too to balance your patient side. You can afford to be impatient. That’s what change causers need.