During one of my recent sojourns of solitude, I had the time and motivation to think about life now and in the future. It’s true that I have multiple memories in which to immerse myself but at this point, I am more concerned about those events to come than those that have already come to pass.

A word that recurred in my thoughts was patience. This is an attribute to which I always and continuously aspire, personally and professionally. The danger, it seems, is to confuse patience with postponement. As it concerns the publication of my book, I must remain conscientious about being patient rather than inactive.

And so it occurred to me to wonder if I have the right to ask others close to me to have patience, both in their dealings with me and with others. The best example of this is my recent observation that when you marry for the second (or third) time, having been married before gives you no expertise whatsoever in being married to the current spouse. And so, if I was married for x number of years to someone else, that has nothing whatsoever to do with my current marriage during which I continuously seek patience.

At no time have I wondered about the virtue or lack of virtue in the practice of patience. My best guess is that it’s a given, in the same realm as kindness, loyalty, fidelity and generosity, among others. And so, I continue to practice at being patient, very often with myself. When you have sent query letters to literary agents or publishers as I have, the warning that you may not hear anything for three or four months makes patience mandatory.

Try as I may, I can’t think of any way to become more patient than to practice it by being silent when I am feeling impatient with someone else. And when it has to do with me, I remind myself that good things rarely happen quickly or spontaneously. The good news is that if we don’t work on patience and other goals, we have no ways to benefit ourselves or those whom we influence. Shalom.

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