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The benefits of patience: winning the never ending battle to become more tolerant

Updated on February 11, 2013
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Michelle is a professional freelance writer who loves music, poetry, pets, and the arts. She is a techno-geek as well.

Waiting in line at the food stall takes much patience!
Waiting in line at the food stall takes much patience! | Source
Waiting in line takes patience!
Waiting in line takes patience! | Source

""Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and champion of individualism, gave us wise advice for addressing our needs in very stressful societies and situations. Emerson showed wisdom in his critique of the frenetic pace of modern society. He, who lived during the age of Industrialization, already felt the pace of modern life hastening. It is unsurprising to find that we, who live in this digital era,find that life's pace has escalated to an absolutely frantic rate.

Indeed, the pace of life has become much quicker than before. with the development of social media, everything has to be attended to at the touch of the keys. With the increased use of tablets and mobile devices, it is even FASTER. I find myself waking and feeling neglectful if I have not answered Facebook messages or comments that were sent just two or three hours before. I feel the same way if I do not respond to the kind comments on my article instantly. Everything calls for an instant response!

Patience in these times has become a lost virtue. Though life is changing and it behooves us to change along with it, some things will remain the same. One of them is that all good things come to those who wait.

To begin with, I am not a very patient person by nature.I cannot claim that I now am either. Always on the go, I get things done quickly enough and waiting is somewhat a difficulty. If I have to wait, I am wont to read into the matter quickly and think that something is out of place. I tend to grumble if I have to wait for too long!

Teaching taught me to develop great patience with people. I was a teacher to several seven-year-old students who suffered (and still do) severe hearing loss. It took much forbearance to cope with planning engaging lessons and thinking of strategies to break concepts down so that they would understand them. To top it off, these pupils were not exactly angels. Like other children, they were susceptible to fits of naughtiness.

I move on to teaching teenagers, which was another ball game of patience. Youth can be a tough challenge to face, what with the advent of raging hormones and back talk.Facing insult for no apparent reason was a challenge, for facing rebellious youth and resisting the urge to counter their unreasonableness was TOUGH. Counseling recalcitrant students, many of whom sadly chose to tread on the wrong path was another battle. All these took many sessions of downtime, calming and prayer.

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The benefits of patience

Some may developing personal qualities like patience pale in importance to honing academic and other skills. I would have to beg to differ, because such are the qualities that make the difference to the quality of life. How?

Patience is necessary for success.

The old adage "good things come to those who wait" could not be more true. Many of us as writers would empathize with this notion. Ask any of us about getting a book published . Nearly all would say that it takes time and waiting!

It takes lots of waiting to be a great author. In fact, it takes lots of waiting to be successful at anything! Colonel Saunders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame understood this well. he lived out of his car and had his fried chicken recipe rejected 1009 times before it found reception! The wait was well worth it because the fast food brand has become more than a household name today. A clear example of patience being a recipe for success!

Having patience is a way to develop self confidence.

If Colonel Saunders did not believe in his own recipe, he would not have withstood all that rejection and His famous brand of Southern Fried Chicken would not have come into being. He must have had phenomenal self confidence to bring KFC to fruition!

Having patience is indeed a way to develop this quality. The more people tell us "no", the more we should have confidence and believe in ourselves It may just be that things just need a little fine tuning!

Patience transforms suffering into joy.

If we take the time to let it, patience can transform suffering into joy. Teaching is an example of a profession where this can work well. Students with Oppositional Defiant Disorder can take the Mickey out of any teacher. When these students applaud a teacher for his patience, the long tenure of tolerance he has to go through is worth it.

ihad a student who punched walls in class and walked about non-stop. The same student chose to defy me as a figure of authority and made life very difficult in the classroom. I must say that it was nerve-wracking suffering his insults for an entire year.

When the same boy unexpectedly turned up with a rose for Teachers' Day and offered hid profuse thank you for everything he had put me through, I knew I had won the battle and the patience I had shown this child (by no means was it easy at all) was worth it. His affirmation was the joy I had been waiting for the entire year as a teacher.

Being patient brings peace of mind.

There is no better time for trying to attain a sense of calm than while waiting.It is not as easy to do so while we are busy and we get caught up in routine. If we have to wait, why not try prayer? The sense of calm one feels after can be priceless.


14 steps for developing patience

15 ways to be more patient

1. Look at the bigger picture.

There may be greater benefits to our situation if we wait. Colonel Saunders would not have seen the phenomenal success KFC is today if he had given up promoting his recipe in the midst of rejection!

2. Make use of negative situations.

If we face negative situations, make use of them. Taking writing as an example, while waiting for that first writing paycheck, use the time to hone writing skills! As the craft gets better, so do the playoffs.

3. Rationalize and think about the impact your impatience will have on others.

Sometimes, taking time out to discover the logic of situations can be of great help. Say that a person is prone to snapping at others. If the person is sincere about wanting to be more patient, he or she can take time to remember that the next time they snap at someone, they may well find themselves alone. No one wants to be around an alligator!

One impatient and angry outburst can leave a mark that is difficult to erase. An incident with my father clearly stands out in my mind to this day.

I was using a computer keyboard while my father was sleeping and my father, a light sleeper, got so "keyed up" and impatient over tit that he drove me out of the house! Naturally, he was apologetic over the matter. As you can see, while I have long forgiven the outburst, it still left its mark. Impatience has the potential for ruining relationships.

4. Be reflective.

Think about all the times impatience has cost in terms of relationships and success in all forms. That is always a great reminder not to move too fast!

I cannot count the times students have become frustrated with me as I tried to plough through the syllabus quickly, it a fit of wanting to get it over with before term closed. They struggled with understanding. It would have been better if I had slowed the syllabus down a little to help them to get a better grasp of things.

5. Keep notes.

If you find yourself being impatient with your child and want to better that relationship, try taking note of each time you have scolded him for the little things he may have unintentionally done, or for the times he failed a test although he tried. take notes and give yourself time to form a different take on the situation.

6. Figure out your triggers!

Understanding what makes a person impatient helps a person to avoid the buttons others may push that will set him off. Disengagement with a potentially explosive situation will be helpful in diffusing it.

A classroom situation can be a perfect example of this. Kids know which of the teachers buttons to push to either set them off or to win their sympathy. Mine knew that I would be angry when they criticized my lack of height. I laughed along with them and this foiled their plans because they did not expect that reaction!


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7. Take deep breaths.

Taking deep breaths before continuing to face any situation where one's patience may be tried and tested but it always helps one to calm down. it helps a person to put things in perspective as well.

I have had to do this many times in class when facing defiant pupils who refuse to back down. it helped me to quickly put things in perspective and decide which was the best way to handle the situation.

8. Take baby steps.

Rome was not built in a day, and everything will have to run its course. If you find yourself becoming impatient, let it go and try to do better next time. Going on guilt trips about your lack of patience will not help to better the situation!

9. Take time out.

During times when our patience is tested, it is good to take time out to be alone to let the impatience dissipate. When I am irritated with my husband, I usually take my IPAD and go off alone to be by myself for a while. The frustration is soon forgotten!

10. Don't sweat the small stuff.

It can be a waste of time fretting over minor matters, like the dog barking at the wrong time or your child suddenly crying. Just address the matter and it soon blows over!

11. Visualize.

Thinking about and picturing a calm situation will make your own demeanor more composed.I always took time to visualize a calm classroom before I walked into it. No matter how students reacted, when they saw a calm me, they would compose themselves too.

Source

12. Look inwards, not outwards.

The next time annoyance hits, ask if you have a personal motivation for being impatient. There are many times when a person becomes angry because he or she has his own rationalizations and prejudiced notions.

I used to be really impatient with my in-laws for doing things slowly when I first got married. soon realized that the impatience was my own discomfort at suddenly having a new set of elders who embraced a totally different style of living. my husband and I gave ourselves time to adjust and that worked.

13. Find healthy ways to relieve frustration.

I usually have a book to read or dabble on my IPAD while waiting to complete long, frustrating, crowded train journeys. The stations pass very quickly!

14. Have a good laugh!

Find something to amuse you while you wait at the doctor's.Look for good jokes on the Internet! The good chortle labor tens the dreary wait!

15 . Expect the unexpected.

We can have grand plans, but these will not always go our way. Re-route instead of wasting time being annoyed and impatient.


Conclusion

Patience is a lifelong effort and like all other skills, it requires practice. if you find yourself failing, do not waver, because no one is perfect. in the words of the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung:

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. "

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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Here are some benefits of patience and tips for developing this underrated virtue.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Excellent hub and I wish I had more patience--right now. I am working on being a more patient person..It is not easy. Great thoughts here and voted up...and shared.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great tips on having more patience, which a virtue that every parent loses quite often when pushed to the edge. But thank you for sharing some ways on how to keep it all in perspective and definitely maintain one's patience. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted as always.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Carol! We all can use it, really. It's the frenetic pace we have to live with! Thanks for sharing, and I am glad you found it useful!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      it's definitely not easy to be a patient parent, Janine. I hope this helps, especially when the little ones push the buttons! thanks for coming by!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Your personal experiences listed here not only emphasize your point but help to actually visualize what patience can do....long a virtue that is difficult, at times, to obtain, you have made some good points. Now if I can only hurry up and have some patience ;) Oh, and your dog drawing is adorable.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      You got good points Michelle. I know patience is a virtue and I still have problem dealing with it. I just want everything on the go hahahaha!

      Thank you for reminding me to be patient.

      Have a nice day!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary! Those things happened to me a lot as a teacher, and it took a lot to become patient with kids. it was uphill! But time and effort did pay off. Glad you like the pic of that impatient dog there, mine's like that!! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Oh, you're not the only one, Meldz! We all have problems..it's our hectic lives! Thanks for coming by!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      We could all take a lesson from this Hub. I have learned to have patience over the years. I think that comes just from living and having a family.

      I voted this UP, shared, Pinned and Tweeted.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary. Yes, family mellows you! Thanks for coming by!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am laughing because 90% of the time I am very patient....however....put me in a long line to purchase something and I fidget like a little kid, and have been known to walk out of the store without making the purchase....same thing in a restaurant. Sigh...I still have work to do.

      Great hub Michelle!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Michelle -

      Great article! I can handle anything but being ignored. When a person's job is to take care of customers and they simply ignore you, that's too much. Right after my heart attack several years back, my wife and I went to our favorite restaurant for our anniversary. It was special because a month before I had flatlined and didn't even think I'd be around for it. I told the waitress I couldn't eat the alfredo because of a heart attack, and had to eat the marinara sauce instead. She brought me the alfredo and then argued about it. She took it back, along with my silverware. 25 minutes later, she brings the marinara, but without silverware. I tried to be nice and get her attention for 15 minutes, but she ignored me. Finally, when it was cold, she came and asked why I wasn't eating. I told her to get me a take out container since they couldn't supply silverware with a meal. I left no tip, gave the pasta to my wife, and stopped and got a double meat Whopper on the way home. A special anniversary ruined. We've never been back. Great Hub!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'm not very patient either! I know they say it's a virtue but I got places to go and people to meet:) lol. I do wish I could learn to ne more slow paced...but I can't!

      Greet hub!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Look at my pic in the hub and it's easy to see why, Bill. We all need help with patience. Not easy with our modern lifestyles! Thanks for the read!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Did you wait for my comment patiently Michelle Liew? Lol! Nice tips and patiently comment on your hub and listne to a soft piano song. Great advice, and I thank my history teacher for answering my silly questions. Thanks!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Sorry to hear about the tussle with your health and the very close call there Richard. It's terrible to have meaningful day ruined like that! Bad service spoils the day. There are better restaurants to go to though! Met so many like this waitress.Once waited an entire hour before e being served! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Don't worry, Kelly! it's our lifestyle, very busy. As long as we don't snap unnecessarily at people and try to understand them, that's alright! thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Ah, yes, the comment was well worth waiting for, Joseph. Light music while commenting and writing is the best! Thanks for coming by!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      You give some great suggestions and tips for being more patient in this fast lane life. Patience is always something I struggled with in my personal life. As a teacher, I was patient with my students - there I seemed to understand that learning takes time. But, in my personal life, I tend to want things to happen quickly - I am like you in that I do things quickly and cannot understand the slow motion of some aspects of life. I will probably struggle with this until the day I die. LOL

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Great hub, informative and motivating. It seems as I get older, the pace of life becomes faster, and the more impatience I become, many thanks for the tips.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      What wonderful suggestions! Now that I am older and only work for myself, I often go to the store and pick the longest line to stand in. Then I just stand and observe people rushing around and I giggle to think that once I thought my time was that important.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      You do much better than many teachers, Suzette! Not easy at all to be patient with kids! We all need help with patience. Like music and writing, it's constant practice! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Seems this way, Jo! we all struggle with it. glad you like it! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Actually, that's when you can observe the true nature of a person, Lipnancy! Relaxing can really teach you about yourself and human nature! thanks for coming by!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for your valuable insight in this

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Glad you found it useful, Hatter!

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      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      A peaceful and valuable hub, Michelle! I definitely needed to be reminded of patience today after a long day of school and work that's not done yet! You are absolutely right: take baby steps and take deep, relaxing breaths.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Knowing how busy you are, being patient can be so difficult, Keith. It takes a lot to juggle both college and work, but seeing as how you work so hard, it will pay off in the end. Take baby steps and we get there eventually!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      A marvelous and valuable hub with excellent suggestions for developing patience. Voted up and more and will share. Thank you!

    • newusedcarssacram profile image

      newusedcarssacram 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      I believe the other name of life is patience.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Audrey, thanks for coming by! Am glad that you've found it useful! Thanks for the share!!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Excellently put,newusedcarssacram. Life could easily use patience as an alias, because we've to wait for so many things! Thanks for coming by!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An excellent hub with very helpful suggestions! I admired your use of KFC owner as an ideal example for this well-explained hub. Patience is indeed a virtue needed to be practised to an extent and in the end, the results will be very rewarding! Way to go!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared on HubPages & Facebook

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi, Ish. Thanks for coming by! Yes, cOlonel Saundrrs was rejected 1009 times before he found success. It was a winnning achievement for him when someone finally believed in the recipe! Thanks for the share, my friend!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Michelle, the other day I read an article by western scholar who says the eastern society is becoming less tolerant because of western influence.

      I'm sharing this with you because we both are non western.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hmm! That's a lot to think about there, Vinaya. I think each culture has its own fits of impatience historically..that's how revolutions started! Debatable and interesting!!Thanks for sharing!!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Michelle,

      I think in our 24/7 society people are more impatient than ever. They want everything done yesterday.

      I get impatient waiting for public transportation. So instead of worrying about how much time I am wasting, I will start walking. It calms me down and I get my exercise.

      I always remember a plaque that my grandma had.

      "Patience is a virture

      Possess it if you can

      Seldom in a woman

      Never in a man

      Voted up and away

      Sharing

      Take care :)

      Voted up and away.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, people are more into instant gratification now, since everything is at a touch of a button. So it's natural to become impatient as we grow used to getting things fast. Thanks for sharing this, Susan!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Michelle,

      This hub is chuck full of so much good advice that it needs to be shared with many people far and wide. I loved how you started this with words from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yes...things have definitely been speeding up over the years. My grandmother when she was alive often remarked upon the amazement she felt from experiencing the first cars to seeing a man walk on the moon. Just look at what we take for granted today in comparison! And who knows what the future may bring.

      Your words of wisdom regarding learning patience and slowing down and becoming more tolerant will serve us well now and long into the future.

    • TycoonSam profile image

      TycoonSam 4 years ago from Washington, MI

      Hello Michelle,

      Excellent read. I do admit that patience isn't one of my strongest traits. Especially when it comes to "All good things come to those who wait"...tapping my foot with arms crossed the whole time....Enough waiting, I'm going out to get it myself.

      Voted up and useful

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Peggy, your mum was so spot on with her insight!! I think we all really need to slow down...or one day life will go at such a fast pace that we cannot keep up with it! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Tycoon Sam, not to worry, it isn't one of my strongest suits either! You have just made me think.....there's a difference between patience and a lack of initiative. Sometimes, we have to take the first step to get things done as well! Thanks for the insights this morning!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I wanted to read this thoroughly before I commented and shared but I am running a little late so I have to leave it at halfway through but will return later to finish.

      From what I have read brilliant work as always by you.

      I am sharing now but will get back to you later when I have read it thoroughly.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Eddy, please don't rush, I understand how it is. We have so many great hubs to read! Thanks for coming by!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Patience is something that develops over time- I'm far from being the best at it but I know I have grown. Dealing with anyone other than yourself is always cause for impatience but looking inward is a great way to understand why we are impatient. Sometimes it's justified, while more often it's just a sign that we need to continue to grow into being a better person. Voted up and more!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I struggle with patience everyday. It is a constant prayer that God gives me patience as a mother and a teacher of young kids. Great tips!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hello, Alecia, yes, patience is indeed something that develops over time. I think it's a skill that has to be honed perennially! True, there are times when it is more justified, but all in all, it's for our own practice in self control that we try to be patient. Thanks for sharing, Alecia!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I know the feeling, I struggle with it everyday too, jennifer! It's hard in this day and age when we expect everything done at a touch of a button. Perhaps it's a matter of adjusting the bar. Thanks for sharing!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Came back for the second read & again shared

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Ish!

    • shabushaj profile image

      shabushaj 4 years ago from india

      Very useful hub. Really patience is a must to live in this world...voted up and shared

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks shabushaj. It is a must,yet so difficult to cultivate! Thanks for sharing and coming by!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I'm not a patient person, but I've learned to adapt with my BFF. Now instead of just waiting and being impossible I just flip on my BFF and time flies by :)

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      For me, it's my IPAD, Linda! Can't do without bringing it everywhere I go! Thanks for coming by!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Michelle,

      This is an awesome hub on the virtues and benefits of patience which are needed very much in life and in especially in the teaching profession. As a teacher, I have been more successful by being patient with my students and following the steps which you outline in this great hub. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

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      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Wonderful hub. I teach also and I could visualize everything you said about dealing with students. I am also not by nature patient, but I have learned to be in order to be a good mother and teacher. Terrific Essay. :)

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 3 years ago from Charleston SC

      Great hub!

      I also need to practice being more patient!

      This is a great hub to start helping me become a more patient person!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for the share, Paul! Oh, you bet, teachers have to master this virtue! Glad to hear that it's been working out with your students as well...it is heartening! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, phdas17! Glad to connect with you! Oh yes, it takes a lot...a lot of trial and error to be patient and while we may not get perfect at it, at least we try. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Freeze Frame!Thanks!I think we'll need to be. Thanks a lot!

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