After experiencing at least two situations today where my patience was severely tested, I contemplate the nature of patience. Is it a genetically acquired or developed attribute? Methinks it’s acquired, also causing me to wonder if we run out of it with age.

Waiting to enter a supermarket, I was (regrettably) impatient at three youngsters who bullied ahead of me without an “excuse me” or apology. We can attribute their rudeness to youth, upbringing, being in a hurry or simply that it didn’t seem necessary to yield right of way to another shopper.

Have I exhausted the patience quota with which I was born? Don’t think so. Am I an impatient person who has effectively impersonated someone with patience throughout her life? Again, this seems to be a plausible but unacceptable explanation. Or maybe the event had nothing whatsoever to do with patience – it was simply my reaction to a display of poor manners.

With all that analysis, I conclude that my patience is probably intact. We’re all subject to lapses precipitated by weather, crowds, stress or whatever is in effect at any given moment. More importantly, the reflection reminds me that patience is reminiscent of a muscle that must be constantly exercised or it will atrophy. Shalom.

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