…and I pose this question because too often we confuse the two. We treat patience as waiting and waiting as patience; conditionally of course. All our lives, certain word choices were used interchangeably for so long we kind of just go with them. For example, when we go to the hospital a PATIENT sits in the WAITING room. Now, patients and patience are not the same, by definition. However, phonetically, they are the same. So, when you hear them from a child to an adult, we assume we know what these words mean because of their repeated association. Therefore, we do not seek to define them; instead, we apply them to our lives through the associations we develop. So, we know, by default, that a patient must be patient in a waiting room; or, plural, patients must have patience in the waiting room. See? Association, not definition. But how does this apply to relationships? Simple.
From a poem, I wrote a while back, one of the lines were “…we misinterpret our complacent nature. Misunderstanding patience, so we confuse it with waiting. But a huge part of patience is gauging when time has expired…” Yes, in every encounter/interaction we face, there is a window of inactivity that must be closed with activity. This window applies both to entering relationships and exiting them. Sometimes our relationships are over long before the universe must intervene and scream “IT’S OVER!!” and end it for us. Other times, we miss out on entering, potentially, great relationships as we “wait” for the right moment to reveal itself because we just aren’t ready. Why? Because we assume we are being patient when we are just waiting.
So, then, what exactly is the difference between patience and waiting? Simple. Patience is finite, waiting is infinite. There’s a reason people say “my patience is wearing thin.” That’s because it has its limits. But with waiting, we extend this thinned out patience far beyond its limit. Quick scenario: Brother’s in a relationship with a woman who is “always telling him about the things her girlfriends got, that she ain’t got” as he works to keep things in order [Respects to Bobby Womack]. He just works harder so he can establish a system of revenue that will give him the means to give her more. Day in and day out he realizes that she isn’t what he needs in his life right now; as it’s too stressful. But he refuses to end it as he waits for her to come around. Just when he’s on the cusp of the come up, she leaves him for another man.
In this example, the brother was waiting while the sister was being patient. It was clearly defined that he wasn’t able to give her what she needed. Rather than accepting this, he drags it out with the idea that he can please her before she runs out of patience; but she does anyway. She put the activity to the inactivity as she “gauged when the time had expired.” And she represents what it means to be patient in relationships; by principle. Don’t be out here cheatin’ on people. End it if it’s not going anywhere.
Whether you are seeking to get into a relationship or you are beginning to see the signs of the end, stop waiting for that moment of detriment to be what makes you act on what you feel. If you are interested in a person, and the more time you spend with them the fonder you become, act on it. Don’t wait until someone else has capitalized on YOUR opportunity when you had it in your hands. If you know you can’t take any more in your relationship, don’t wait until the person cheats or you become smitten by someone else to take action. Stop waiting for the right moment to present itself. Be patient and create the right moment as you see fit. This goes for relationships, jobs, school, etc. Be sure that you are patient; and not idly waiting…but, as you know, it’s not definitive law or anything. Just my perspective and what not…feel me?
Peace, Love, Knowledge and Freedom.
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