Patience has gotten me a long way. I have to be patient for and patient with many things in my life. It is hard at times to have patience. However, I've come to realize how much I need patience to keep going.
I want to describe patience as a muscle that we all have, like muscles in our legs that enables us to walk. Patience is the muscle that helps us deal with unfortunate, difficult situations or situations we don't like.
Like any muscle in our body, we need to exercise the muscle to strengthen it. The more we practice being patient it becomes easier to deal with inconvenience.
The inconveniences that arises in life, big ones and small day to day ones, forces us to decide to practise patience or to get roweled up.
Can we find a way to be ok with unexpected inconveniences? This may mean accepting a situation that didn't go the way you wanted or be happy to wait for something.
I have to learn how to be patient in many areas of my life. For example, learning to have patience when inconveniences occur when I'm catching the bus.
Catching buses with a wheelchair
Not all buses were accessible when I started catching buses. Sometimes I couldn't get on a bus because they didn't have a ramp for me to drive onto the bus.
I had to wait for the next scheduled bus that was accessible. The wait for an accessible bus took two hours sometimes.
I couldn't get on some buses because the driver didn't want to let me on. This got me really annoyed and had feelings of indignation when drivers spoke angrily and left me behind.
I really wanted to scream “You're lazy, you're rude” at the drivers. However, I didn't think they would understand my angry voice. So, there wasn’t much point.
These types of incidents happened occasionally. Even when I sent a complaint to the bus company about an unfriendly driver, there would be another driver who is unfriendly.
I got roweled up by these inconveniences that occurred when I was getting used to catching buses. I thought that I should be treated as a valuable customer. So, these drivers were always in the wrong.
We can look silly and we may say or do silly things when we get roweled up. Later, we wished we didn't act the way we acted.
Being patient with bus drivers
Instead, we keep ourselves together when we choose to react with patience. I've learned that being annoyed and moaning doesn't accomplish much. It is just time and energy wasted.
It took many inconvenient incidents for me to change how I reacted to unfriendly bus drivers. I realized that when the bus was inaccessible, my best option was to wait for another bus.
Even if the driver is wrong in saying unfriendly comments to me and refusing to let me on, I can choose to save my energy and patiently wait for a driver who will let me on. My energy can be better spent writing another complaint to the bus company.
Therefore, I started to be ok to wait longer when this happened. Sometimes, I even go extra early to a bus stop to accommodate any possible inconvenience.
Patience is our strength to not give up
Life throws all kinds of curve balls at us. These put our patient muscle to the test. Unfriendly bus drivers are one of the things that have helped grow my patience.
What I learned from the inconveniences is that I may not get to where I want to go to on time, but I will eventually get there. Just as long as I don’t give up waiting for a bus that I can get on.
I think this sums up what patience looks like in many circumstances. When our plans aren’t going the way we expect, we need to keep our eyes on where we’re trying to get to and keep going till you get there.
There are twists, turns and delays whether we are looking for a job, a partner, a house or trying to achieve any goal. Patience is the muscle that gives us the determination to not give up when we face curve balls along the way.
I find it easier to be patient with some inconveniences than others. However, my patience gets stronger as I continue to face challenges in my life.
Manuele Teofilo lives in South Auckland with his parents and siblings. He has graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Services and plans to work in the disability sector. He enjoys getting around in his electric wheelchair and having fun with people.