It seems ironic to start 2021 with the virtue of patience, as 2020 seemed to be a year when our patience was duly tested. Our daily routine was disrupted, and we had to learn a “new normal.” This school of patience, to bear present difficulties calmly, was more imposed as we had to adjust and accept the trials of a pandemic.

Recently, I was on the receiving end of another person’s extraordinary patience. The day before Christmas, my glasses broke, setting in motion a frantic pursuit of replacing them before everything shut down. For me, it was overwhelming to walk into an eyeglass store and, within ten minutes, select frames (with a mask on!). With a very patient young lady’s assistance, I had new glasses in less than two hours.

However, much to my dismay, an unbearable discomfort set in with the frames, and I needed an adjustment. The same young lady assisted me, and we determined that new frames were the best solution. Once again, she was extremely patient as I tried numerous frames to no avail. Finally, I asked her, “Do you have a script playing in your mind that I should just hurry up and make a decision?” To my surprise, she sincerely denied thinking those thoughts.

While we are still working on a permanent solution, I walked away with a sense of peace and calm because of her. Her patient demeanor made my experience pleasant and communicated that I mattered as a person. Perhaps this encounter can set the tone for 2021, intentionally striving to be patient with other people so they may walk away with a sense of peace and calm.

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