Patience is a Virtue
‘Patience is a virtue’ is a proverb we’re all familiar with. We’re told as children, ‘You’ll just have to be patient.’ But how many of us as adults possess the quality of patience?
Wikipedia tells me that patience is one of the seven heavenly virtues listed in the fifth century epic poem Psychomachia (Battle of the Soul) by Prudentius – who sounds as if he might be a virtue himself! In the poem, the virtues are set in opposition to the seven deadly sins in a battle for the Christian soul.
It’s interesting that we hear much more about the seven deadly sins than the heavenly virtues. Does that mean virtue has lost out to sin? On balance, probably not. Does it mean sin is more interesting than virtue? That’s definitely the case in fiction. Characters need flaws; they need to make bad decisions; they need conflict in their lives and relationships. A story about virtuous people would be unlikely to have many readers.
So, where is all this rigmarole going? I try to adhere in some small way to the seven virtues: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and Humility. (Okay, not so hot on temperance but you get the drift!) I don’t do it because I’m engaged in any battle of the soul but because it makes for a nicer life and better relationships with people.
And the reason for my impatience was my brand new website! There it was – all beautiful and shiny and ready to be paraded. But my subscribers had disappeared! after months of planning, I had a new website, but nobody to share it with.
Woe! Woe! And more woe! I wrote a post ‘Well, here it is’ (if you were one of my mislaid subscribers, it’s the one before this one) and pestered all and everyone I could think of to re-subscribe. And generally made a nuisance of myself.
Then Joy! A lovely man from WordPress – two expressions I never expected to use in conjunction with each other – emailed to say he’d resolved the problem and telling me how to find the ‘lost’ subscribers. He called himself ‘Richard – Happiness engineer’. And indeed, he was.
Did my impatience help? No. Did I suffer because of my impatience? Yes. Have I learnt any lessons? Well, I’ve found out about Prudentius’s Psychomachia, but in terms of developing the virtue of patience – No!
Tags: epic poem, vices, virtues