In this week’s Torah portion (Behalotcha), we are told the Jews in the desert would rest and travel at God’s command. Sometimes they would rest for a year and other times just hours. The Ohr Hachaim points out that the Jews obeyed regardless of if they were exhausted or if they wanted to travel further. They never complained about the constant uncertainty of not knowing when they would next settle or for how long.
The “ADD Generation”
In this generation of the internet, smart phones, news tickers and ability to travel around the world in hours, patience is a rarity. It is no wonder that we have been labeled the “ADD generation”. We are commonly frustrated by slight inconveniences to our time and plans.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Research shows that those who are able to hone the character trait of patience have better mental health, improved life satisfaction and success, and more friendships. This is great for patient people, but what about the rest of us who clench our jaws in traffic and get frustrated when our children take forever to finish their questions? Well, the good news is that we can develop patience through mindfulness, becoming aware of our emotions and what triggers them, learning to reframe situations and practicing empathy and gratitude. Although it is difficult, try to emulate the Jews in the desert and remember good things come to those who wait.
What do you think? Have you noticed any other benefits of patience or negatives of frustration. Share your questions, comments, and advice below.