1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
No, I haven't gone all 'bible basher' on you - I just wanted to explore the word 'love' from another angle (other than the noblest form of 'love' - caritas) in the context of Valentine's Day.
A funny thing happened, by the way - I suddenly realised that one cannot say 'I love you' to another unless one was prepared to say, in full, all of the following:
"I shall be patient with you, I shall be kind to you, I shall not envy you, I shall not boast, except of you, I shall not be prideful, except of you, I shall not dishonour you, I shall not be self-seeking over and above you, I shall try very hard not to anger you or be angered by you, I shall not keep score of your wrong-doings, I shall not delight in your failures, but celebrate with you in your success. I shall always protect your self-interest, I shall always trust you, I shall always have hope in you, and all of this will be longstanding."
Erm, all of a sudden, those three little words just became harder to say!
Anyway, I digress...
Interesting that the first of the 'love adjectives' is...patience.
Confession time: patience is the hardest virtue for me, personally.
In my nerdy days, I suddenly woke up one morning and decided I was not patient enough. Honestly, it was the weirdest (and to date, most honest) self-analysis I ever mustered.
Being a total nerd, I went to my mother and told her my diagnosis.
She said she already knew this about me.
I asked her how I could fix the problem.
She recommended embroidery.
A friend of mine was a very good embroider at the time. But she was too busy to teach me. She asked me to wait a week. I couldn't wait. I bought a book and learned to embroider from the book.
To date, embroidery remains one of my best leisure activities. I now know why it cultivates patience. It takes me about 4 months to finish a piece. I really have to wait to see the finished product. No other way round it.
It is also a very feminine thing to do. I feel at my most feminine when I am embroidering something.
I don't get the same effect with sewing, household chores, even cooking.
All these are instant gratifiers - embroidery literally makes you wait.
I was thinking about patience when it comes to the SMP lately.
I wondered - in this world of 'instant gratification', whether fractious relationships are simply due to the parties involved just being too impatient?
Egged on by the morals of a 'throw away' society, no-one wants to wait for anything.
Is this the real problem underlying the high divorce rate? Because no-one wants to take time to cool down a bit?
Which of the sexes is more patient?
I see patience as being a 'feminine' virtue. But am I wrong about this? Do we women (I certainly had to be!) have to be taught to be patient? Or are we naturally patient?
And if we are naturally patient, are we being deprogrammed by modern life?
In this much publicised play/ballet, who was more impatient - the man or the woman? Whose impatience led to both their deaths?
Is this all that is required sometimes - just a little patience?
Surely that alone would solve a lot of SMP problems, no?