Maybe you have heard this little poem by Dick King-Smith. My mother in-law used to say it all the time; it made me smile.
Do you feel like you are losing patience with the COVID-19 pandemic? The Delta variant has brought with it increased infection rates, new variants are emerging, and after a brief reprieve, masks are again required indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission. Many of us wonder about the need for a booster shot and when a vaccine will be authorized for children. If you are like me, you are tired of the stress and burden COVID-19 adds to all the decisions we make during daily life.
Rebecca Mitrousis reflected on this phrase long before the pandemic became our obsession in her opinion piece Patience is a virtue and a grace, in the March 12, 2019, Catholic Courier.. Mitrousis, who served as Faith Formation Director and Youth Minister at Church of the Holy Spirit in Penfield, N.Y., wondered whether the fast pace of our world has created impatience in us as we hurry to get from one place -- or one task -- to another. She considers our individualistic feelings of entitlement to be the source of our impatience and reminds us that we are all children of God, each as entitled as the next.
An article from The Mayo Clinic at about the same time reported that patience and well-being are linked; patient people have more empathy, more gratitude and more happiness in their lives. The good news is that while patience is a virtue indeed, it is also something that can be learned and practiced with mindfulness.The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, fed up with wearing a face covering and physical distancing, or feeling anxious, try taking some deep breaths and looking around you. Use your senses as you look for the blessings of creation, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the sky, even the clouds all around you. Feel your muscles relax as you take deep, slow breaths. Smile at the person next to you waiting in line at the grocery store. Yes, even behind a mask, it will show in your eyes and make you feel brighter. When our thoughts remain grounded in the present moment and focus on what we can control, our sense of well-being can thrive.
We, and our children, can get through this pandemic if we practice patience and remain dedicated to reducing the spread of the virus. We can do this though broad, community-wide vaccination and following the CDC Multiple layer prevention strategies for schools to keep students safe:
- Universal indoor masking
- Physical distancing
- Hand washing
- Vaccination for all eligible people.
- Regular testing
Colossians 3:12"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience."
Deborah Ringen MSN, RN-BC is a Faith Community Nurse and the Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC.