Haraka, haraka haina baraka – hurry, hurry has no blessing.
Such a simple proverb, but it speaks to me. Slow down, enjoy life, and be patient. Rushing brings little gain.
I need that reminder often.
Although I wish to slay this cold of mine
I know the only magic cure is time
This past weekend, I noticed my impatience. Sick with a nasty cold, all I wanted was for it to go way. No rest, no enduring it – I wanted it to disappear. But I had little choice.
My frustration didn’t help things. Instead of distracting myself from my cold, I dwelled on it. Negativity became my focus. And I felt worse.
The light at last turns green and I race off
Only to reach the next one with a stop
Driving is another place for impatience. I’m fortunate to live in a city with good public transit, but I still have to drive from time to time.
Hey, who do you think you are to cut me off? How dare you?
Yellow light? Speed up, I’m going to make it into the intersection before it turns red. Oh great, now I have to wait at the next light.
Get out of my way, slow car in the express lane. I want to shave two minutes off my trip.
I have so much to learn.
I demolish the foods so sweet and fine
I eat them as fast as my old canine
Then there is food. My speed may originate from my days in boarding school – where we would rush through our meals so we could have more time playing before curfew. But that’s probably just an excuse.
I hurry through my dinner. Each bite is another step in the race to finish. And what for? Rarely do I have anything urgent to do afterwards – nothing deserving my rush.
I miss out on the chance to savor each magnificent bite – and when my wife cooks, each bite is indeed magnificent. I lose the chance for gratitude – I am so blessed by my abundance. I give up the simple joy of eating.
When I was younger, my brothers and I gave my dad a hard time for being the last to finish his meal. Now I see that he was, as he almost always was, the wiser one.
I hurry on with unrelenting pace
Striving to learn to walk with patient grace
Such impatience at times – robbing me of my energy and attention. And for no gain. Is there any benefit to my hurry?
Haraka, haraka haina baraka.
I want to have patience. I want it now.
But I learn. Slowly, but steadily, I gain the virtue of patience.
With every single punch and kick I make
Patience is something that I cannot fake
Taekwondo teaches me. In going to train every week, in the hours of repetition and instruction, I learn. Patience is an active process.
I have to choose it. The moment I let go of my decision, when I stop paying attention to my pace, my patterns become rushed and my technique poor.
After each movement, I pause. My technique is complete. Only now can I move on to the next one.
Beyond the choice, patience takes effort. I still have to keep going over my pattern, even though I’ve done it one hundred times before. I still have to repeat the basics. Patience is hard work.
I continue. The practice is my success.
I’m learning from the wisdom of my wife
To choose the way of patience and not strife
My wife teaches me. In living and spending time with her, in the day to day matters of life, I learn. Patience sometimes requires a reminder.
She tells me to slow down. When I get anxious to move on, she encourages me to wait. When I walk too quickly, racing ahead to some unknown place for some unknown reason, she lightly pulls me back. Stay. Enjoy where you are.
Sometimes things happen that do not seem fair
Like going to your car and finding air
Unexpected annoyances teach me. Not long ago, the car I was borrowing got towed for sitting behind our building while we dropped off our luggage. It was unlucky and unfair. I was upset.
Patience lets you deal with emotion. When the flush of anger comes, sit with it. Feel it. Acknowledge how you feel. Move on. Rushing into a reaction helps no one.
As I sat with my anger for the tow company, I saw that responding harshly and hastily would accomplish nothing. They still had the car. I was still going to have to pay the fine. I calmed down and went to get the car.
Although in small portions the words come out
They compile to produce a large amount
Writing teaches me. In showing up every day, in writing at least three pages worth of words, I learn. Patience produces greater works.
After eight months of my practice, I’ve written over 200,000 words. The small actions compound.
I wrote yesterday. I wrote today. I will write tomorrow.
I learn so much from watching what you do
For your wise guidance I must say thank you
You teach me. In reading your wisdom – both here in the comments or elsewhere, in watching how you live, I learn. So I ask you, what have you learned about patience? Who are your teachers?
Photo: Worth savoring.