Have Patience

   The greatest human attribute to me is PATIENCE and I'm sure, not many will disagree with me on this count. It's patience that opens up a plethora of blessings and benefits for a person who is eternally tied to the apron-strings of this divine quality. All scriptures categorically eulogise the significance of patience. The Holy Qura'an states in one of its 6666 verses, 'Inillah ma'as sabareen' (God is with those, who have patience). The great English poet John Milton wrote in his immortal and oft-quoted sonnet 'On his Blindness', ' They also serve who only stand and wait.' To have patience is to have a divine sense. 

Human history is full of instances that consolidate our faith in the power of patience. We often get irritated and start cursing ourselves as well as all those around us when things tend to go awry. But we forget the nature's perennial law that one gets everything eventually, provided one has patience.

When young Alexander the Great (he died at the age of 32) planned to conquer the East (India and its extensions), his old Friend Mednoville Erasmus advised him to have patience and tried to dissuade him from going to far East with a tired and jaded army. He also said that his time to conquer the East would come. He must have patience till then. But the young and a bit reckless Alexander didn't pay heed to his friend's sage words and finally reached India from where he returned to Greece disillusioned and died on the way. If only the Great Alexander had a modicum of patience, the history of the East would have been different.

The Scottish doctor and scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered antibiotics and won the Nobel Prize for it in 1928, wrote in his autobiography that it was because of endless patience, he finally discovered antibiotics that saved the lives of millions and proved to be a boon to mankind. He failed nearly 100 times before discovering an antidote that would be infallible and completely harmless. He finally succeeded and the world will remain thankful to him till the end of human civilization. Louis Pasteur and Thomas Alva Edison never gave up and waited patiently to get that proverbial Eureka moment to discover and invent something that could change the collective destiny of mankind.

They succeeded and succeeded immensely. Had Rabindranath Tagore lost patience and stopped writing because he started feeling that he wasn't producing anything worthwhile, the world would never have got Gitanjali and its sublime 103 poems. His elder brother and an impressionist painter Abnindranath Tagore exhorted him to go on and write verses without losing patience. The rest is history. Patience is a saintly virtue, which's often the mother of all other great human traits. William Ward Beecher called it the supreme virtue that ensues other virtues. It's patience that teaches us that better times are about to come. 'Be still sad heart, cease repining/Behind the clouds is the sun, still shining.'

It's one human quality that deepens the character and gives insights into things, people and phenomena. An impulsive person, however intelligent he may be, loses life's great opportunities that are destined to arrive at their time. Remember the age-old Hindi maxim, 'Samay se pahle aur bhagya se adhik kisi ko kuchh nahin milta' (One doesn't get anything before time and more than his/her earmarked future). This is not a fatalistic adage. This has a great hidden message that only by dint of inexhaustible patience, does one get what he is destined to. So never lose hope and let patience thin out. One has to have an angler's patience, who spends the whole day and finally catches a big fish just before he thinks of leaving for the day. 
                                                             ----Sumit Paul