At the time of this writing I just came back from my third visit to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. I was naïve enough to think that one visit to the DMV I would be able to accomplish in getting a drivers license and registering my vehicle. How wrong I was! Going through different lines, paying all kinds of fees and spending an incredible amount of time just waiting that I realized that I’m not as patient as I thought I was.
I think this is due to the instant results that I expect each and every day. I begin my day with a cup of coffee that I get in a couple of minutes, my newspaper is always expected to be there early in the morning, I surf the net on my speedy broadband network and don’t expect to wait very long when I load up videos or download programs. I know that this mentality of instant results does not always exist in all societies. This became a reality when I spent five years as a seminarian in Italy. Where the attitude is that life is too short and it needs to be savored. Of course I eventually stopped fighting this mentality and went along with the crowd but once I arrived back here in the USA I went back to my old ways.
What a society we would live in if we were just more patient with each other and with ourselves. How many more smiles we would encounter as we approach the counter for a particular service. The friendly waves to let us go by when we are waiting to exit a parking lot, not feeling rushed when we truly need a listening ear when things are going wrong in our lives.
If you were to look up the word “patience” in a dictionary you would find several definitions. I found the following appropriate of what I find is patient, “quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.”
In my last Friars Corner column I mentioned about appreciating the “quiet days” of summer. Just reflect on how we feel after a summer that we took it easy and how we tend to be more “patient” with the slow pace of life. If we can work on our patience then we won’t be easily irritated when things don’t go our way (even if we encounter rules that seems to be made up as we reach the DMV counter). When we become patient then we can truly live out the commandment that Christ left us, “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13:34)
So my dear brothers and sisters as we continue on this journey which at times can be difficult and challenges us let us remind ourselves of the song Charlie Chaplin composed, “Smile”, “You must keep on trying, Smile, what's the use of crying,
You'll find that life is still worth-while, If you just smile.”