Patience vs Sympathy

I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of patience. I have always considered myself a very patient person, but in reality I have put an age limit on it. I’m extremely patient with children until preteens. Once someone hits their teen years or adulthood I can lose patience with them really quickly. I have always seen them as perhaps they should have grown up by now.

My husband was telling me the other day that as he grows older, he refuses to admit that he’s getting old, he’s found he’s losing something. When I chimed in and said patience he stopped me. He doesn’t think he’s really losing patience. He has patience; he thinks he’s losing sympathy for others. As he explained further it made a lot of sense to me. He said that he’s losing sympathy for people that do stupid shit. (Yes that’s the straight and narrow and exactly how he put it.) When people can’t think rationally, be forward thinkers, plan ahead, save for their own well being, and live on their own without depending on others, he has little sympathy for them. It took me awhile to really stew on what he was saying to realize he’s exactly right. That’s it. It’s not that I’ve lost patience; I’ve lost sympathy in people that cannot take care of themselves.

Now, of course, there’s always extenuating circumstances that require sympathy. By no means am I trying to state that you should never ask for help, but that help should be minimal.

When I state I have little patience or sympathy it is in a context of for people. I have great patience for situations. I am not one to get angry in traffic or upset waiting in a line. I am very patient when it comes to reaping a reward (It takes a lot of patience to simply start a blog and stay consistent with it trying to gain an audience), and I can wait to have the money to go on a trip or buy the new and greatest gadget. I just don’t have patience or sympathy for people. I don’t have patience or sympathy for close mindedness, I don’t have patience or sympathy for naivety and I don’t have patience or sympathy for anger, hatred, or bigotry.

So I ask you this? Do you have patience or sympathy for others? What do you see in others you tend to have little sympathy for?


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