By Esogibe Ikenna
It is a clear fact that patience is essential to daily life and remains the master key to a happy one. Having patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity such as 2019 Governorship election; however, it presupurposes that when there is frustration or adversity, i.e. nearly everywhere, we have the opportunity to practice it. At home with our kids, at work with our staff, colleagues, at the church, store or anywhere, patience can make the difference between annoyance and equanimity, between worry and tranquility.
Religions and philosophers have long praised the virtue of patience; now researchers are starting to do so as well. Recent investigations have found that, sure enough, good things really do come to those who wait, but desperate and impatience ones hit brickwalls in pursuit of their ambitions.
Scientifically, those who worry less and imbibe patience in their daily dealings are ascribed to be mentally sound and socially unequalled. This finding is probably easy to believe if you call to mind the stereotypical impatient person: face red, head steaming and legs scratching.
And sure enough, according to a study by Fuller Theological Seminary Professor Sarah A. Schnitker and UC Davis Psychology Professor Rovert Emmons (2007), patient people tend to experience less depression and negative emotions, perhaps because they can cope better with upsetting or stressful situations. They also rate themselves as more mindful and feel more gratitude, more connection to mankind and to the universe, and a greater sense of abundance.
Prince Eze Madumere, the number two citizen of Imo State is very patient, friendly, jovial and sociable even when it appears that everything is at his beck and core. As a man with interpersonal patience, he does not involve waiting but simply facing annoying people with equanimity. In one of the studies conducted, it appeared that those who are more patient toward others also tend to be more hopeful and more satisfied with their lives. No wonder, the humble Prince lives a lively life.
No doubt, Prince Madumere who started having patience over daily hassles long before his boss became the Governor of Imo State is still exercising patience to hear from him on which way to go in 2019 which others who joined them half ways are desperate and impatience. Surely, a leader is defined by the way he handles his political, social, cultural or religious ambitions and his type of patience are more satisfied with life and less depressed.
In other words, patience seems to be a skill one can practice more, and doing so might bring benefits to the person’s mental health.
In relationships with others, patience becomes a form of kindness. Think of the best friend who comforts you night after night over the heartache that just won’t go away, or the grandchild who smiles through the story she has heard her grandfather tell countless times. Indeed, research suggests that patient people tend to be more cooperative, more empathic, more equitable and more forgiving.
Patience involves emphatically assuming some personal discomfort to alleviate the suffering of those around us. Evidence of this is found in a study that put participants into groups of four and asked them to contribute money to a common pot, which would be doubled and redistributed. The game gave players a financial incentive to be stingy, yet patient people contributed more to the pot than other players did.
This kind of selflessness is found among people with all three types of patience mentioned above, not just interpersonal patience trait which characterized by warmth, kindness, and cooperation. The interpersonally patient people even tended to be less lonely, perhaps because making and keeping friends with all their quirks and slip-ups generally requires a healthy dose of patience.
“Patience may enable individuals to tolerate flaws in others, therefore displaying more generosity, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness,”
Evolutionary theorists believe that patience helped our ancestors to survive because it allowed them to do good deeds and wait for others to reciprocate, instead of demanding immediate compensation or repercussion (which would more likely lead to conflict than cooperation). In that same vein, patience is linked to trust in the people and the institutions around us.
The road to achievement is a long one, and those without patience, who want to see results immediately may not be willing to walk it. Think of the recent decamping of politicians for being unwilling to “pay their dues” but jumping from political party to another rather than growing and learning.
The study of patience is still new, but there’s some emerging evidence that it might even be good for our health. Patient people are less likely to report health problems like headaches, acne flair-ups, ulcers, diarrhea, and pneumonia but people who exhibit impatience and irritability tend to have more health complaints and worse sleep. If patience can reduce our daily stress, it’s reasonable to speculate that it could also protect us against stress’s damaging health effects.
We can try to shelter ourselves from frustration and adversity, but they come with the territory of being human. Practicing patience in everyday situations like Prince Eze Madumere will not only make life more pleasant in the present, but might also help pave the way for a more satisfying and successful future.
Esogibe Ikenna is an Opinion Moulder and Social Crusader