Echoes of Elul Day 8: Patience Please

By Nancy Silverman

When I told people I worked as a speech therapist, they often would remark to me that I must have a lot of patience.  As I thought about the comment, I mused that I might have patience in my work with my students and their parents, but had less with those in my personal life.  So last year, in honor of the new beginning that the High Holy Days afforded us, I decided to try to expand my patience to include my family and friends.

     Recently, I experienced an incident that rewarded me for my work on increasing my patience.  To celebrate my son Michael’s birthday, my husband, Glen, and I sent him a card, with a generous gift certificate in it.  I mailed it four days prior to his actual birthday and had some concern that it would arrive by that date.  Based on past experience, I knew that it would take at least four days for mail to arrive in Salinas, Ca. from the OC.

     On his birthday, I heard no response from Michael that he had received the birthday card and gift certificate.  Could he have received the card and forgotten to thank us for sending it?  Or did he receive the card and didn’t bother to thank us?  I actually spoke with Michael, on his birthday and again a few days afterwards and he didn’t mention having received a birthday card with a gift certificate inside it.  Although I thought it strange for him not to mention it, I said nothing.  Finally, 13 days after I mailed the card, Michael received the card in the mail and texted me, thanking us for the generous birthday gift.

     How happy I was with myself that I hadn’t chastised him for not thanking us!  I had patiently refrained from remarking about it.  Who knew that a piece of mail took 13 days to be delivered a distance of 350 miles?

     This incident served as my own personal test of patience and I can happily state that I passed!  This is a new beginning for me in becoming a more patient human being.  As we enter another New Year, I hope to continue to further refine and expand on the skill of using patience.

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