Patience is a Virtue, and a Choice

Happy young woman looking at dressmaker in tailoring-shop

By Donna Shea & Nadine Briggs

Not long ago, I (Donna) was out doing some shopping at a local store. As I was waiting in line, I noticed a very elderly cashier. She was moving very slowly, taking the time to wipe down the counter and perform some other tasks. I also noticed that she was going to be the cashier that checked me out. I was feeling tired, hangry and growing impatient.

As I stood there waiting for her to finish tidying her work space and to be called to check out, I did what I teach the kids at my center to do, stop and think. Try to look at things from another perspective. Download your patience app into your brain. As I continued to stand there, I shifted my thinking from myself, onto the cashier. I surmised that she was working at her advanced age for one of two reasons. Either she had to work, which suggested financial or other difficulties in her life, or she wanted to work to be out engaging with people so as not to be lonely. In either case, she certainly did not deserve my impatience or an attitude to ruin her day.

I was at last called to check out. I gave her a smile and a friendly hello. I helped remove the clothes I was purchasing from their hangers while we chatted about this and that. It ended up being a very pleasant exchange for both of us. I am very glad that I stopped to choose patience.