Cultivating patience can really transform our world. Patience is a gift we can give to ourselves and to everyone we meet.
This story, from Chapter 15 of Jack's book, comes to mind when I stand in line at the grocery store. It helps me enjoy those moments of waiting.
...A military officer ... studying meditation in a class for stress reduction ... [was] in a supermarket. It was a crowded evening, the lines were long, and the woman carrying a child in front of him had just one item but would not get into the express line. The officer, whose habit was impatience, began to get annoyed with her. It got worse when she got to the checkout stand and she and the clerk started cooing over the baby. The woman even handed the child to the clerk.
He began to tense up, his anger building at the thought of how selfish she was. But because he had just come from his class, he noticed what he was doing to himself and began to breathe more softly and relax. He even noticed that it was a cute baby. By the time he got to the clerk he had let go enough to say, “That was a cute boy.” “Oh thank you. That was my baby,” she replied. “You see. my husband was in the air force but he died last year in a plane crash. Now my mother takes care of my boy and brings him in once a day so I can see him.”