Sometimes by being patient we save ourselves as well as the person to whom the patience is extended.
In his book Quiet Strength, Tony Dungy, coach of the Indianapolis Colts, recounts this story of patience in action.
My dad was usually a quiet, thoughtful man. A scientist at heart and by training, Wilbur Dungy loved to be outside, enjoying the scenery. My dad used fishing to teach his children to appreciate the everyday wonders of the natural world God created — the sandy shoreline, the dark pine forests, the shimmering water, and the abundant wildlife. The lessons were always memorable, whether we caught a lot of fish or not.
Although we [Tony, his brother Linden, and his dad] fished countless times together throughout our lives, one particular day stands out in my mind. It was a summer day in 1965. My dad had taken us fishing at one of the small lakes around Jackson. On that day, my dad was teaching my brother and me how to cast. We were both working on it, mostly in silence, until my dad’s voice finally broke a period of stillness.
“Hey, Linden, don’t move for a minute, please.” I looked back and watched my dad move his hand toward his face. Calm and deliberate, he continued to speak.
“Now, Linden, always make sure that you know not only where your pole is while you’re starting to cast” — at this point, I realized my dad was working my brother’s hook out of his own ear — “but also make certain that you know where everyone else is around you.”
I learned something about proper casting that day, but I also learned something about patience … I finally understood the importance of staying calm and communicating clearly.
How many of us would have yelled first and thought about the consequences later? What reaction would yelling have caused? Linden probably would have jerked the line and could have ripped his father’s ear in the process. The same lesson about fishing would have been learned, but the pain involved would have been tremendous.
Consider today how quiet, calm communication of a problem at hand sooths the situation rather than making it worse.
Yours for the celebration of marriage,
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