Wisdom from a One Room Schoolhouse Teacher #49 by Lana Moore
“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”
- Evan Almighty
“Patience is a virtue.” We’ve all heard that saying. But what does it really mean? Is it a virtue, or are people just automatically patient? Let’s look at one angle…
Patience (noun) = the ability to wait calmly; the capacity to accept delay without getting angry
Virtue (noun) = a quality or trait that most people consider to be morally good or desirable in a person
How many of us can truly say we are patient? What situations make us blow our cool and lose that place in the patience line of life? When God was handing out “patience,” some of us may have thought He said “patients” and said, “No thank you!” For some of those we know, it shows…
Our One Room Schoolhouse Teacher Mother was one who modeled patience daily. With eight kids and a husband, it was either be patient, or run kicking and screaming off of the farm to save her sanity.
One thing about our mom, she was the one in control of her emotions. She owned every bit. She did not let someone else dictate how she spent her day. Granted, there were some good discussions every once in a while, but not often, and never to the running, screaming, point.
Patience is not an automatic response to unruly situations. Patience is learned. When we practice patience, we are more likely to react accordingly when we need it.
I like to think I am a patient person who doesn’t overreact to stressful situations. I want to believe others see me as a patient person. But sometimes there are times I really would love to blow my cool. However, like our mom, I know if that were to happen, I would be the one that people would think I had lost it completely. Blowing your cool only adds to the chaos, not control it.
When I walked in on a burglary at our house many years ago, and was speaking with the detectives afterward, they commented on how calm I was. I shared that I would dearly love to fall apart, but I knew that wouldn’t help. And it wouldn’t have. I had the presence of mind to write down the license plate number and call the emergency number I had posted on the wall for our two young sons. (This was WAY before 911!) The two were eventually caught, and convicted. It did take a long time for me to feel safe at home by myself, but I knew there was a higher power covering me with protection, no matter what happened to me.
As a teacher, modeling patience for the students is at times a challenge. There are times that the only thing that keeps everything together for us is the knowledge that we are the adult, and must act accordingly. And truth be told, there are those times we don’t want to be the adult, either. But in general, we do. We know we have to.
We know in our heart that some of the kids we deal with on a daily basis need us to be the role model they don’t have anywhere else. They look to us to be the calm in their storm. Their safe place. When they see us handling the difficulties thrown our way, and if it is handled well, they will hopefully notice our behaviors, and will know how to react if faced with similar circumstances.
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