Patience Preserve Your Soul

MJ and I were watching a show on Netflix which was a taped live performance of Steve Martin and Martin Short. It was exceedingly funny. We had purchased tickets to see the show live at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri on December 1, 2018…but it was just a few days prior to MJ’s back surgery and she was not able to attend. So we sent Aaron and Jonathon and Dawn and another lovely person to the performance in our place. I have not laughed so much…in a long while. The jokes were so plentiful that it is difficult to remember them all but needless to say it was almost impossible for us to catch our breath from the sustained laughter…

Steve Martin is a proficient and professional banjo player. He has played for fifty years. I noticed the look on his face completely changed when he began to play…the comedy was over…and he was patiently immersed in his musical craft. As I watched him play I thought of how patient a person must be to become good at what they do. It seems that there is nothing that is valuable in life…that does not come to us without daily dedicated work.

Photo by Ilargian Faus on

I began as a manager in the Building Services department…with fear and trepidation. I simply knew that I had a high percentage chance of failing at what I perceived was a job that was much too big for my meager abilities. For the first year, I was nauseated each day when I reported for work. But I did not give up. I double my efforts and worked harder and longer and determined that I would immerse myself in every aspect of the large housekeeping department and become as much a master of each…as I had the ability to do so.

Writing has been a primary retirement project for me. I am closing in on 11 years retired…and I treat my writing like my employer is expecting daily production. If I take a day off of my writing…I feel that I have missed my mission…I have neglected my passion…I have failed to patiently apply myself to my chosen retirement craft…

Sadly there seems to be a spirit in our nation today of ‘Live fast and die young…and make a beautiful corpse.’ Or to be more specific there is the misplaced vision that if I can just purchase the right Lottery Ticket…my troubles will be over. I am dismayed that it is difficult to find young people who will not mow grass or wash dishes or work as laborers. I thought that this was a myth…but I am beginning to believe that it is reality. The old saying that, ‘When I was a kid…I walked two miles to school and two miles back home…in four feet of snow…,’ is tiring…but somewhat true. The greatest leaders…have humbly served others. My older colleagues said that you have to pay your dues. When that working spirit is lost…we are in decline as a nation…

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