I would not consider myself to be a patient person, but I know it is one quality I would like to have. Last week, I wrote about emotions and the set of regrets uncontrolled emotions bring with them. I believe patience has a lot to do with controlling your emotions. Because when you are emotional, you lose your patience and rush to regrettable decisions.
There is this saying in Amharic that goes like ‘Tigist merara nat ferewa gin tafach new’ and loosely translates to ‘patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet’. Patience is a conscious decision we take to avoid the regrettable. The process of sticking to this decision can be painful. The process is an internal battle with the urge to make conclusions and get rid of the uncertain. In my view, people are quick to jump to conclusions and decisions because they want to achieve a peace of mind and win over the thousands of questions and doubts that run into their minds. And the funny thing about patience is that it always wins, at least in my view. How many times have you found yourself congratulating your own self for being patient under a circumstance that had really tested your patience? And how many times have you found beating yourself up for not being patient enough during a scenario that was after all not that material, or a scenario that turned out for the best at the end? I bet numerous times. So why is it so difficult to be patient? And how do some people become more patient than others? Like the ability to control your emotions, I believe patience is a character of only the wise and the civilized.
The one thing that got me thinking more about patience this week is the recent news about the arrest of several government officials on the grounds of corruption and human right abuses. It is on several occasions that I came across people complaining about the silence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) administration concerning the bringing to justice of officials claimed to have committed serious crimes against Ethiopian citizens. When the news on the arrest came few days back, I thought to myself ‘if people can only be more patient!’. And by people, I include myself as well. We get too emotional when a leader who gives ears to citizens’ concerns finally comes to power. We forget that our concerns have remained unanswered for as long as we can think of and forget to be grateful for the few first answers we are getting. It’s like the story of the blind who has lived in darkness for the whole of his life, finally got a promise to get his sight tomorrow and asks impatiently ‘how would I be able to spend the night in blindness tonight?’. We start expecting so much more within so little time and end up having no patience at all if each and every of our concerns are not answered right away. And we prepare the recipe for our own destruction!
I can only say that a lot has been done by this administration and a lot is yet to come. At least I am hopeful for that. But we need patience.