Thursday, September 01, 2011


Patience is a virtue. It is also a resource. I think that I am, if compared objectively against a cross-section of society, quite a patient person.

I remember assisting at a legal clinic once. The person seeking help didn't have a case at all, and any first-year student would have reached that conclusion within 10 minutes of applying their minds to the matter. So bad this person's case was, that I couldn't find any redeeming point after a whole half-hour.

That boggles me, now as I am looking back, because I spent one and a half hours (patiently too, I might add) in that little claustrophobic room staring down an increasingly plaintive yet belligerent person who just couldn't seem to accept that there was no case to be had. It was as if beating the facts over my head continually would somehow produce defensible points on which the multitude of errors that were self-created would all go away.

So I am quite patient.

But, as I've found out, I don't have an unlimited amount of patience.

Sometimes, when things go awry, I take a step back and marvel at how tangled things have become. I then optimistically calculate how many units of patience I would need to come out of this particular encounter dignified. I then scrounge around the depths of my pockets for the loose change of patience I'm hoping which squirreled themselves away in anticipation of this rainy day.

And when I come away short, bone dry, I grit my teeth and hope that I emerge from the next few fitful moments with the blessedly spotty memory of Dr. Jekyll.

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