I have always been in awe of my father for his unlimited patience. I have wondered as to how did he have so much of limitless patience. In my entire life time, I have seen him losing his cool only twice and here I am who loses his cool atleast twice a year. I also need to give some credit to myself as I have graduated from losing patience twice a day to twice a month and nowadays it is only twice a year.
It has been a journey of life long learning. In this blog, I would like to reflect on how I learnt patience from my father. The first thing I have observed in my father is his ability to mind his own business at all times. I have never seen him interfere in the life of others and this may have enabled him to keep his cool under all circumstances. We tend to lose our patience when we get involved. Impatience is in a way reacting to a situation, which we cannot accept. There is no need to react if you do not get impacted by others’ incidents. In all our family matters, I have never seen him talk about others or interfere in others’ matters.
The second learning has been that he was very self disciplined. He was a government employee and served in the telecommunications wing of the central government for more than three and a half decades. He was a self made man and worked very hard day in and night out. He was always on time to work and never made anyone wait at home or at work. This was possible only due to his self discipline and his ability to be organised. Thus there is little scope to lose his cool for things which were not in place as he wanted them to be.
The third attribute which made him patient was his ability to be an active listener. I have hardly seen him speak. He was a man of few words but always a good listener. It is easier to keep talking than to listen. If you are a good listener, you have the time to assimilate and not react as the way we do most of the time. This means less impatience and more maturity in our interactions. Thus listening helped him to be patient at all times.
The fourth quality I learnt from my father was his ability to be self dependant. I have never seen him depend on others for anything. Even after his retirement from service and after my mother’s death, he did not depend on anyone for his living. He cooked his own food, did his own shopping and maintained the house and the garden with his own hands. This self reliance enabled him not to depend on others and thereby lose his cool when others do not deliver.
The fifth characteristic of my father which stuck to me was his ability to share happiness with others and keep sorrow to himself. I have never seen him in my life time cribbing about anything. He has never shared his distress with others but was always willing to share his joy. This made himan endearing person to all. I am yet to meet anyone in my family or friends circle who was not in awe of my father and his patience.
My father’s patience is like the endless water of the sea and me like a bird flying across to feel it.
All these qualities of my father left lasting impressions on my mind. I was short tempered as I began my career. But, as I grew up, I realised the value of patience and have tried my best to learn from the interactions with my father and live life the way he did. I may have only achieved 10% of patience he had but still consider it worth an effort as it has helped me immensely in my career and life.
It is never too late to start.
S Ramesh Shankar