We must. Indeed be patient. We must. It is the only real option. If one wonders whether or not to be patient – probably one should be. Even if you are anxious for change. Even if you feel you cannot wait any longer – patience is very useful – even as you tap your foot – or twist your hair.
I mean – it’s a tough one in the middle of social upheaval. Right now police violence against black men and women and children is rising every day and every day becomes more abhorrent. I know people have said to the activists battling this issue “Be patient” and in that context, it’s just another way to say. “Sit down, shut up.” It’s just another way to say, “Be okay with it.” But is there a way to work for justice and also have patience? That is – to BE patient, one understands that change takes time and will not be easy or efficient and yet tirelessly work for it anyway. It would be a sort of split focus – a way to work toward some thing with all the energy and force of will necessary for it and at the same time, cultivate a sense of inner peace.
Rosa Parks is famous for keeping her seat on the bus. Every school child in America knows she said “No” when asked to move. But what every school child DOESN’T know is how tirelessly she’d been working for the movement for so long. They don’t know how patient she had been and continued to be once the bus boycott began. They don’t know how tirelessly the entire movement worked, slowly, tediously, filing paperwork, waiting for the right moment – the wheels for the Montgomery Bus Boycott were in motion long before Rosa Parks said No on the bus. The movement had been waiting for the perfect model, the perfect representative of the movement, for the perfect movement to challenge. THAT is patience. Not sitting back and waiting for someone else to solve it but patiently inching forward every day.