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What is patience?

  1. Oct 4, 2009 #1
    Hello all,

    My question is simple: What is patience? But despite it's simplicity I need help about its answer.

    Personally, I am between two ideas. One of which is to feel certain emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration ..etc but to have the ability to keep your balance despite feeling them. The other one is to feel such emotions less, due to wisdom, maturity and/or life experience, which helps indirectly to tolerate bad emotions, but this toleration is not the core idea of what patience is.

    Or perhaps there are other dimensions for the meaning of patience. I will appreciate your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2009 #2


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    The best way to answer such questions would be the sociocultural route - treating "emotions" like patience as socially constructed roles, scripts or memes.

    Self-regulation is a learnt, language scaffolded, habit in this view. Society has a need for "patience" to be displayed in certain situations. So it creates a word and a set of meanings which tell you the behaviour that fits the criteria.

    Rom Harre edited the classic texts in this area.

    So patience would be what you "feel" when you both have some urge to act, but also know that socially, restraint is expected or valued. And it would feel like a state of conflict, but with an edge of being happy in knowing you are doing the right thing. Or maybe discontent because you are feeling forced to do the right thing.
  4. Oct 4, 2009 #3


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  5. Oct 4, 2009 #4


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    Dang, you beat me to it, Astro :biggrin:. I was going to say, I'll tell you in a while.
  6. Oct 5, 2009 #5
    you should have hurried more, Lisa
  7. Oct 5, 2009 #6


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    Lisa, you waited to long. :biggrin:

    Nevertheless - be patient. :rofl:
  8. Oct 9, 2009 #7
    I think patience is opening your own thread in the forums and resisting the urge to hit refresh every few seconds to see who was the first to post on it...

    Really though, I think Patience is a measure of a persons control over themselves. We naturally want something the moment we have a feeling of need. When we were younger we became accustomed to having those feelings met immediately. (Baby crying for food/discomfort)
    As we age we have to teach ourselves to exercise control over our own urges to have what we want, when we want it. Patience is simply a word like love, frustration, temptation... All these things express certain understood emotions that we, as human beings, share in common.
  9. Oct 9, 2009 #8
    I think patience, is feeling like you have time to spare.
  10. Oct 9, 2009 #9
    I think that's a marvelous description. I'll likely steal it. :wink:
  11. Oct 30, 2009 #10
    For me Patience is a verb, an act, based on a feeling. That feeling/ideal may be based on morality or knowledge or experience.

    The idea that we should "be Patient" under certain circumstances, implys it is an act.
    The idea that Patience is a Virtue, implys it is a virtuous act. A thing to be celebrated...therefore Patience is inherantly "good".

    That patience is always good, that, is up for discussion in some cases, for we all know that it isn't always the best measure...in every instance.

    Now the very idea that mannered or civil folk be Patient, or act with patience, with others is based on circumstances usually. One isn't expected to be as patient with those we are close to, are we? Not at all...with close relationships, less patience is expected and often expended. So the amount of it's usage is weighed and measured, meeted out, depending on who, what, where and why...isn't it?

    For me there is a lot to understand about why Patience is or isn't a virtue. Usually it is a good idea.

    There is also the act of "acting as if" we are being patient, and the actual, authentic feeling connected to the act, the whole "meme" of BEING patient, genuinely...isn't there?

    You might need to be Patient to continure reading when you feel this may be getting convoluted, or that i think too much of what im saying, and so on. But actually it interests me that this question is being asked in here. And I like thinking on and having my opinion understood, and getting feedback, so on I go.

    The feeling about Patience, might be that, with age, comes wisdom, and with wisdom, follows its bedfellow, patience, but that is not the case for many. We all know people who grew older and lost a lot of empathy, sympathy, compassion/patience.

    I believe these terms are somewhat synonymous. Patience, of a genuine nature would imply, that one feels compassion around/about another human being, that for some "reason", whatever it may be, they feel the need to project a mental meme of patience, toward them.

    The reason may be that, one does not know the person, the situation or heart~aches that the person may be carrying in the depths...or, maybe even the opposite, that one knows the life of the person, the circumstances that surround them, and has compassion for that very reason. Both are reasonable...

    A circumstance where we might exibit this "feeling" or "act" might be that we happen to have knowledge, that the person was never priviledged to become highly educated (like myself) and we feel compelled to act kindly because, we know that they may have a hard time, with certain concepts...or whatever. Or having prior knowledge that children will get restless for having to sit for long periods at a time without a break, would lead us to be more patient when for instance, a child moves around a lot while at a concert or play.

    What is important is that we display patience because we have embraced that it is a good concept, or act based on a concept...where we allow ourselves and others more leeway to be themselves, based on either our knowledge or lack of knowledge, and based on thoughts we have formed or chosen, about being compassionate people, for various reasons.

    People deserve compassion, for many various reasons, patience is the act or art of showing compassion in certain increments, for special reasons all your own, based on knowledge of circumstances, or on a personal need to have a moral standard that you adhere to, for all or just for certain individuals...and when you know why you are acting with compassion and you really agree to the feeling and act, then you will be able to show more genuine patience, and not just be acting as if you are a patient person. Acting like one is patient, while being irritable, or angered inside, is not, as you may have guessed anything like patience, it is just, well acting.


    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  12. Nov 1, 2009 #11
    We are patient when we practice being passive over being active. When we do so we place ourselves in a personal wait-state and we delay responding. We seem to be losing this ability to delay and wait. I think it is because society places a greater value on the quick response at blazing speeds... so we are becoming programmed to thinking like that. The world of my grandparents seemed like a much more patient one than our current world.
  13. Nov 1, 2009 #12
    For me, patience is an integral part of a plan. I put waiting on my "to do" list, when appropriate.

    Stay focused on your goals, anticipate delays, maintain accuracy, and wait for situations/events/results or a correct timing to align (again, as appropriate).
  14. Nov 2, 2009 #13
    Double post
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  15. Nov 2, 2009 #14

    I can somewhat relate to this, great post. Thank you.
  16. Nov 2, 2009 #15
    Thanks for your um, relativity ~*~ BiGFairY!


  17. Nov 3, 2009 #16
    My pleasure.
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