Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Patience

Pieter Brueghel the Elder: The Seven Virtues - Patience

There is no greater example of "do what I say, not what I do" than the relationship between patience and myself.

Let's just say we get along as well as I get along with my ex-boyfriend (which is not at all).

Recently, I have been straining myself to the very edge to keep from losing my patience at a new job I started at a law firm. Without going into too many details, my job consists of fielding phone calls for a class action lawsuit. When I first accepted the job, I was thinking to myself, "dude, I get to be Erin Brockovich - sans premarital sex and early 90s apparel." 

I soon learned why she was such a hero in the world of lawyers: class action lawsuits suck, not because its long and potentially worthless, but because when you deal with a lot of people in a lawsuit, a lot of them turn out to be difficult.

And by difficult I mean unable to understand the following on their own:

_____________________ (Print Name Here)

Oh, and it only gets better when some people yell at you - you, the person trying to win them $5,000 or more -  because you can't tell them when they moved to Dallas (information that has nothing to do with the lawsuit at hand). Those were my favorite phone calls.

Can you understand why the virtue of patience has become so relevant to my life now? It's more than just waiting in a very long line in the grocery store when the snowball stand closes at 6:00 and it's already 5:56. No, no. Patience has a lot to do with compassion - at least when it comes to practicing patience with people. In fact, I think patience is just compassion's pseudonym. Without being able to feel for another's situation or problem, it would be impossible to practice patience with them. Without empathy or compassion, in fact without charity, patience would be completely lost. Charity (love) is inherently tied with this virtue - which shouldn't be a shock to anyone that learned about Catholic theology through the phrase "God is Love" (aka all of my fellow post V-II peeps out there). 

And it takes a lot of grace to use those important virtues when answering phone calls for a law firm, let me just tell you that. 

I'm not one to push for the canonization for any lawyer, but that Erin Brockovich - she was a saint.

1 comment:

  1. it'll take more than 19 years to obtain saintlike patience......I guess I'm saying that you have to be patient on acquiring patience :)