Reflections on Patience

by Orly Wahba

Over the course of the past two weeks I had an amazing opportunity to engross myself in an incredible learning program in Jerusalem at a place called Matan. I wish I could sum up all of the powerful lessons I’ve taken from the hours upon hours of learning, but perhaps I can share one small tidbit that connects with this month’s theme of patience.

Some misconstrue patience as inaction and associate it with stillness, silence and passivity. However, when looking at synonyms used for patience words such as endurance, perseverance, humility, persistence and fortitude sprang up. How are these words connected?

When we think about leadership we oftentimes envision constant action. A leader most certainly has to take action, but the type of action isn’t simply action for the sake of action – it’s thoughtful, purposeful and precise. To be precise requires the ability to pause and see things from a different perspective. Anyone can see a problem and attack it, a leader doesn’t look simply at the here and now. A leader has the vision to see beyond his own time, his own circumstances to see what can be. A leader must recognize that it’s not only about thinking outside the box, it’s realizing there is no box.

Why is patience so vital for leadership? A leaders task is to paint a picture that no one has ever dreamed of or envisioned and to provide a pathway for others to visualize that picture with them. It is for this exact reason that a leader must have patience with those he is leading, with himself and with the process; understanding that even though the picture is so clear to him it can potentially take years to make that a picture a reality. Years in the eyes of a leader is never relevant. What’s relevant is the realization of a dream and the ability to inspire others to dream that same dream. It’s for this reason that when we look up words associated with patience, we find powerful terms like endurance, perseverance, humility, persistence and fortitude. It’s clear that perfecting the trait of patience is an uphill battle.

Each of us have hopes, dreams and wishes of what we want to accomplish in our lives. To transform an idea into reality, let us begin to perfect the trait of patience. It’s through vision of what can be combined with the patience to understand that their is a process that we will ultimately be successful.