If Only You’d Taken Your Own Advice

I struggle with patience. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but I still become anxious – and even angry – when things don’t happen as quickly as I’d like them to happen. Am I by myself, here? Or, are you reading this thinking, “I prefer microwaves to ovens, too.” You like instant results. You like to see things happen as quickly as you think about them. Though you know it’s not physically possible, that’s the way you’d like it. Well, believe it or not, this particular article isn’t about you or me. This is a real life story that illustrates, quite well, how lack of patience can be a huge roadblock to your future and your success. Impatience can alter your whole life’s journey.

Check this out!

Just 2 or 3 years ago, I was involved with an organization (for article’s sake, I’ll call it “The Org”) that had its office in one of the suites of a neighborhood plaza. An older plaza, it was as pleasing to the eye as it could be for its age; yet, well kept and structurally stable. The Org was fortunate in finding the space, not only because of its strategic location, but also because of the previous occupants. The organization that occupied this particular suite before was the exact same type of organization as The Org. So, the space was already setup quite nicely. Huge head start, right? I know!

Some time later, The Org decided to start a project to help in reviving some parts of the city. As part of the campaign, The Org was collecting funds in hopes of purchasing the entire plaza, re-facing it, and generating money from the occupants’ suite rental fees. It was a good plan in theory. If executed differently, I have no doubt that The Org would be the owners of the plaza today.

What happened?

Slowly, people involved with The Org started hearing less and less about the project. Those who supported the cause and invested (hundreds to thousands of dollars) in the project never saw a return on their money, and as far as I know, they never received an explanation about anything either. Everyone could tell that the president of The Org had lost enthusiasm and seemed unconcerned about others involved. Then, one day, it was proven.

People showed up to The Org one day only to have the president tell everyone that The Org was closing. There was no warning and the explanation was unsatisfactory. The explanation given eluded to this:  The Org chose a new location and the hope of gathering a new group of people, because they thought they’d be more successful.  Many people felt abandoned by The Org. People were upset, sad, confused. It was a crappy way to end things.

Today, The Org is in a new city with new people – I guess. I’ve not heard much about successes or lack thereof. The president now holds an outside job to sustain life, and some of the people who followed The Org to the new place have sense moved on from there, experienced some hardships, or are still there hanging on.

So, what’s this have to do with patience? Where’s the irony?

Here it is!

A few months ago, the plaza was given new life when a Wal-mart Neighborhood Market came on the scene. I hadn’t been there in those beginning months. I went a few weeks ago, and I went again today. I realized something during my trip today and had a small laugh to myself. The entire plaza looks different. Each suite, the whole plaza structure and parking lots had been re-faced and all of it looks great! Even the back area that wasn’t too well kept before was redone. (The Wal-mart pharmacy drive-thru is in the back of the plaza – I think, so it makes sense that the back would be revived, too.) Everything The Org wanted to accomplish is happening – without them.

The impatience of The Org caused them to miss out on everything about which they once dreamed. Though, those at the head of The Org were always telling others about the importance of patience, exercising restraint, not acting rashly or irrationally, etc. Yeah. I know.

It wasn’t the location or the people associated with The Org that needed to change.

Patience truly is a virtue.

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