Thursday, November 14, 2013
Patience And Creativity
Sometimes Creativity Requires Great Patience
A conversation with a class of young students began with this question: What do you call the room where you sit with others before you are called into the doctor’s office? The waiting room. And if you are waiting in the waiting room to see the doctor, what are you? Probably sick. Well, that’s absolutely correct! The collection of everyone not feeling well in the waiting room would be known as the doctor’s what? We would be patients. That is also absolutely correct. Patients wait in the waiting room. The word patients is not the same as the word patience, but both are inextricably bound to the word waiting. The attribute of patience is learned through the discipline of waiting, yet, in our culture of immediate, we are not well accustomed to nor very amenable to waiting. A delay of game, a traffic jam, a black Friday checkout line, a power outage, these types of waiting circumstances frequently are accompanied by rising blood pressure and angry outbursts, which do decidedly nothing to eliminate the required wait. We hate to wait. Now. We want what we want and we want it now. Waiting is for everyone else in line, but not for me. I am too busy to wait. Too important. We rant and whine and complain and pound our fists on the steering wheel resembling our toddlers who throw similar tantrums when they have to wait. We are in such a hurry to not have to wait that we barely remember to breathe. Why? Why do we do this? If we never have to wait, we will forever suffer from impatience. Children are not yet burdened with the consuming nature of over self-importance, because the wonder of play still fills their hearts and waiting for a turn on the swing or the slide is really very okay. Unfortunately, they do observe impatience in us and occasionally try it on for size, which is desperately sad to see. Waiting is not a bad thing. Waiting can be a time of great creativity; a contemplative time when ideas can swirl and connect in new ways. Our frenetic, impatient pace squeezes out creativity. We race to the finish line of whatever task is before us, driven madly by a competitive compulsion to be first. Relax. Wait. Smell the flowers. Hear the music. See for the very first time since childhood the wonder and beauty all around. Savor with patience the great gift that is life, which passes all too quickly. And in the patient savoring, who knows, one might just find a unique idea or even an original song.