simone knego

Patience Is the Ultimate Act of Kindness

Patience is a virtue, they say.

But it’s often a challenge, especially when we’re learning to be patient with those around us.

Patience Is Rarely Easy

This week, I’m on vacation in Arizona. And while I was on the plane, I found myself in one of those situations where it really hit home just how important it is to give each other grace.

As I boarded the flight, I sat down next to a mom and her two-year-old son. And, of course, he started screaming before we even got going.

The mom got out her big bag of tricks and tried everything: snacks, toys, comforting words. It took me right back to the days when my own children were young.

“Ah, I remember those days,” I said.

To be honest, what mother hasn’t experienced the sheer desperation of calming a child in public?

She laughed with an exasperated sigh and said, “I should have given you a warning before sitting in that seat.”

To which I replied, “It’s okay, I’ve done this many times. I know how hard it is. Don’t feel bad at all.”

Of course, he screamed most of the flight, and she felt really bad.

While I empathized with her, the lady in the seat in front of us clearly did not.

She kept turning around, giving dirty looks that seemed to scream, “Can’t you control your child?” As if a disapproving glare could magically quiet a distressed toddler.

It struck me how we often fail to see the humanity in others, especially in stressful situations.

The truth is, there was nothing anyone could do to stop that child from crying. Little kids are human, and they are going to decide what they want to do. We all just had to endure it and show a little patience.

Let Patience Be Your Virtue

This experience reminded me of a simple truth—we all need to be more patient with each other.

We never really know what someone else is going through.

That person who cuts you off in traffic might be rushing to a hospital.

The barista who got your order wrong might be dealing with personal issues.

The colleague who missed a deadline might be struggling with anxiety.

Your child may be suffering from bullying at school.

The best way to react to others is to simply be patient with them. Try to understand them. And give them grace.

So, how do we grow our patience and extend grace to those around us?

Here are a few things that have helped me.

Empathy First

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Imagine what they might be experiencing.

This shift in perspective can make a world of difference in how you respond.

It can help you to see the humanness in people and even recognize the humanness in yourself.

Pause and Breathe

When you feel your temper rising, take a moment to breathe.

A few deep breaths can help calm your nerves.

That extra time can also give you a moment to choose a more compassionate response.

When you focus on your own breath, it can help you to keep your negative thoughts from running away with you.

Reframe Annoyances

Instead of seeing someone’s actions as an inconvenience to you, try to see them as a reflection of their own struggles.

That crying child isn’t there to ruin your flight. He’s just overwhelmed and tired.

That person who cut you off in traffic isn’t out to get you. She’s just in a hurry to see someone he loves.

Try to focus on the good in people and take yourself out of the equation.

Offer Kindness

A kind word or a smile can go a long way.

It doesn’t take much to show someone a bit of grace and understanding.

That poor mom really appreciated the fact that I was kind to her.

It’s tough traveling with children.

She just needed someone to help her know she wasn’t alone.

Practice Patience Daily

Patience is a skill that needs regular practice.

Start small.

Maybe you can start by being patient with a slow cashier.

Or maybe you can show patience with a chatty neighbor.

As parents, there are probably multiple opportunities a day where we can show patience to our children.

Find those moments, practice patience, and learn from them.

Over time, it will become easier to apply that patience to more challenging situations.

Remember Your Own Struggles

We’ve all had moments of struggle.

Think back on times when you’ve been overwhelmed and needed understanding from others.

This can make it easier to offer that same understanding.

I had an entire international flight trying to comfort Noah when we first adopted him.

Because of this, you can bet that I am very understanding when it comes to showing patience to other mothers who are struggling.

Patience Is an Act of Kindness

Patience isn’t just about waiting for something without frustration.

It’s about how we treat others during those moments of waiting.

Patience is about recognizing that everyone is fighting their own battles.

And a little grace can make those battles a bit easier to bear.

So next time you find yourself feeling impatient with someone, take a step back.

Breathe.

Remember that they’re human, just like you.

And choose to respond with kindness and understanding.

Because at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

And a little patience can make everyone’s journey a whole lot smoother.

Meet Simone Knego

Simone Knego is an international speaker, award-winning author and two-time TEDx Speaker. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, and CBS and in Entrepreneur Magazine and Yahoo News. Her literary contributions have been honored by the National Indie Excellence Award and the NYC Big Book Award. Simone has not only summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, but she is also the heart of a bustling household with six children, three dogs, and one husband of 31 years. As the creator of the REAL Method, Simone continues to inspire and impact teams, fostering growth, and promoting self-discovery. 

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