“Maxima enim, patientia virtus” patience is the greatest virtue in Latin.
Patience is a Virtue. The first known recording of this expression is in Piers Plowman, a narrative poem believed to have been written by William Langland between 1360 and 1387.
My transatlantic friend Matt asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were and I rattled off a list but forgot to add, “to be more patient.”
Maybe that’s because it’s something many of us should be doing all year regardless of a resolution. Tolerance can solve so many friendship & relationship problems if done correctly.
I look back at the ugliest displays of rudeness and they were always linked to me not taking a breath or giving a beat. Even on the days I thought I was doing ok, the unpleasant thoughts in my mind could have been better painted on my internal canvas.
I used to get these loooooonnnnngggggg letters from a friend. She would go on and on and on. All beautiful content mind you. Each sentence was uplifting and kind. Yet I found the time it took to read such long-winded run-on sentences a chore. What an asshole I was then and sometimes continue to be now. Does this describe you at times? Maybe you’re tired, or the workday has been brutal. Do you ever find yourself rolling your eyes behind someone’s back when they are rattling off details you’d rather skip?
I remember visiting this friend that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. She made me breakfast and tea and told me how grateful she was for the visit. As she sat down at her dining room table to write out some bills I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did I miss this?
I never stopped to notice or didn’t realize, she had Bell’s Pasly. Her hands shook with every stroke of her pen. I could see the frustration appear on her face as she did her best to control these hands that once performed intricate surgeries. I thought she just retired. But it was clear to me my lack of patience went deeper than a long letter. I thought of how long it must have taken her to write me all those letters. How her hands trembled and how my heart broke.
I started in entertainment at the age of 3, dancing, singing and soon entered into touring with classical opera. I had a “big voice” for such a young kid. Doing three years straight of “Annie” in different companies donned me the name “leather lungs”. My rawhide soul would soon enter into the world of live tv where you learn your chops and you learn them quickly.
Time is money and that’s not something you waste cause there’s another child actress waiting to take your place. I got pretty good. But as I’m sure you are great at what you do, you forget that others may not be. They may not have had the years of experience or training you have even though it’s second nature to you.
I create content now. I remember working with a partner who kindly complained that our workload was too much. And I lost my patience with her. I thought, “why the hell can’t you just knock this stuff out like I do?” Takes ONE minute!
I remember being angry when she told me she no longer wanted to work with me. I liked her. She was funny, smart, and handed in her work on time, but at the time she quit, I noticed her content was suffering. It lacked any feeling or passion. It wasn’t until later that I was going through past raw footage that again, my heart fell to the floor.
She was doing take after take, looking at the camera, eyes going everywhere, and not connecting. She kept trying as she cursed at herself in-between frames. My partner had severe A.D.D. and the polished one-minute works she was handing in took more like 30 minutes for her to finish. No wonder this was so difficult for her. She couldn’t form or complete most sentences when put “on the spot.”
I leave you with one more story of patience and possibly the most important one of all. Because when executed properly this may be the key to a very healthy balance in adding the endorsement skill “plays as well with others” to your LinkedIn profile.
I remember a home improvement show that I was shooting in California. I pride myself on being a one-take wonder and being able to execute on-camera promos like no one you’ve you’ve ever seen. As a child, I realized the other kid actors would purposely waste time flobbing lines so they would go over the Union standard time allowance and get time and a half. I learned if I did my spots faster and more accurately than the other kids that I got hired again and again.
One day near Los Angeles, we had a New year’s Eve promo that I was having a very difficult time getting the lines on the script out of my mouth as it was written. It wasn’t the words that were a problem for me, more as the arrangement. I was getting frustrated and downright mean.
I had the privilege of working with Emmy Award-Winning Producer Kristy Cooper. This woman was the QUEEN of patience, and I got so angry with myself that I asked HER to leave. I’ll never forget her face because I could see I visibly upset her even behind those bright lights. (My public apology to Ms. Cooper for being an undeniable bitch that day. I’m sorry I let my frustration and lack of concentration get the best of me. Thank you for your understanding. You always handled everyone and everything so perfectly.)
Once again the root of the problem was patience but this time with myself. Someone was wise enough to say, “why don’t we all take five minutes and all regroup.” I appreciated that. I was able finally to get this piece delivered.
As we enter into the new year don’t forget number one. Work on having patience with yourself when you’re a little off. Take a phrase from the Entertainment Business and that is, “Take 5”. You’ll be surprised at the miracles it will work for you! – Goldy Knows