I grew up in the age where technology experienced rapid change. Photos took a week to develop. Dry cleaners took a week to return clothes. If you needed to get a letter sent, it took a week via US mail.
Then came the invention of one hour photo, next day dry cleaning, and Federal Express. (The company now known as FedEx, which could deliver a package or letter overnight.)
We became a society that forgot how to have patience. We learned to try to get anything and everything immediately.
Just look in Medium and see how many articles there are that use the word “quickly” in their title. As if getting something more ‘quickly’ means one is now better than they could have been had they been slower. It may be true –
I’m open to the idea that as the world move forward, we can do more, learn more and be more than we are in a shorter amount of time.
Until we can’t
I remember when I was a secretary in a typing pool, making minimum wage. I worked, day after day, for months, wondering when I’d get promoted. After six months, I quit. I didn’t understand why I hadn’t yet gotten promoted. And then, jobless and without any promising prospects, I understood the value of time. That anything worth doing is worth doing well and with the virtue of patience.
Our society has taught us that it’s possible to make huge gains in a short period of time. And for those who can handle rapid rates of growth, that’s great.
But as spiritual beings, we have to understand the importance of the value of patience.
Take the lesson we learn from a bamboo plant. When you plant a bamboo seed, it doesn’t seem to even be growing. Despite that fact, you have to keep it constanty watered, and give it ample sunlight. But bamboo doesn’t show it’s growth for about 5 years. If you dig it up anytime during this period, to see if it’s germinating, you will kill the seed. So, planting bamboo is an act of faith. You have to plant it and wait. Never knowing if it will sprout or not.
But when it does sprout, it can grow overnight – up to 80 feet! (Actually, it takes a month to grow that big after it breaks ground) But once it sprouts, it grows at a rapid pace. It’s a 5 year overnight success!
What lesson do we learn from Bamboo?
- Faith in the process. We may not see the gains we are making by taking consistent action, but it is happening.
- Persistence – Are we working only for a payoff, or are we enjoying the journey of growth? If we don’t enjoy it, it’s time to re-examine the motive behind doing what we’re doing.
- Hope – Without it, there is no belief that anything will improve in the future. And thus, it is necessary to believe in a future until it’s seen
May you be blessed with the patience to remember the lesson of the bamboo plant.