Patience is a Virtue?
When I was a little girl, one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t be able to get married because I couldn’t straighten my left fingers voluntarily. They lived (and continue to live) curled inward due to spasticity in my body — the unfortunate product of a brain injury when I was 8.
In my mind at the time, irrational as it might have been, this physical posture meant no one could put a ring on my finger. And to a little girl growing up in the conservative Southeast, a visible ring seemed like a necessity.
As a child, one of my favorite movies was The Empire Strikes Back, the second installment of the original Star Wars trilogy. In one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, we see Darth Vader sever Luke Skywalker’s arm with a lightsaber. At the conclusion of the movie, we then see a transformed Luke, equipped with a new arm and hand in the process of being programmed electronically by a droid. His hand that was once gone is now open thanks to the magic of George Lucas’s futuristic thinking.
I remember watching this scene over and over and thinking — that will be me. That can be me. My hand can open again. If it can happen for Luke Skywalker, surely it can happen to me.
I probably watched The Empire Strikes Back for the first time in the 1990s. The film itself was made in 1980. Now here we are in 2021 and it is worth asking — how much technological progress have we made in the orthotic and prosthetic space?
I have always been impatient for progress. In my relationships, in my career, and with my health. As I was gearing up for multiple business and personal changes in March 2020, someone who was trying to temper my optimism, said they were sure “I would move mountains once the COVID-19 pandemic was over.”
Looking back, I’m immensely grateful I didn’t wait to move mountains as I would have missed out on starting some of the most intimate relationships of my life, living in two fantastic apartments, earning thousands of dollars in business revenue, and making multiple jumps in personal development. I’m proud that I took the precautions I needed and accepted the dips that came, as challenging as it was at times.
In closing, I ask — are you waiting to move your own personal mountain?
A fifth century AD poem, “Psychomachia”, taught us the familiar phrase that patience is a virtue. I’ve personally never liked this phrase. I’ll admit that sometimes patience is advised, but I question if we have let it become a roadblock to progress? Is there a hidden value in impatience?
Over the next few months, I invite you to join me in this blog series, as I highlight a product I’m tired of patiently awaiting and discuss how I haven’t allowed uncertainty and fear to be roadblocks to my progress. Follow along on Medium, Instagram, and LinkedIn each week. I look forward to engaging with you in this discussion and hearing your feedback.