“Patience, like love, is one of the most powerful actions on earth. Much patience is required of us as we try to maneuver our lives, families and community away from a society whose predominant values seek to keep us divided and struggling.” — Mikkel Beckmen
Welcome, readers, to the “Starting Anew” column. In this issue I will be touching on the issue of patience. I have not been good in this category, so I wanted to give focus as to how accomplishing patience can be beneficial to my life.
During my time of incarceration, I had to learn patience; however, when I was released, I thought I would try to catch up on things I assumed I had messed up, be it with family, employment, finances, and other areas of my life.
In many instances I would become frustrated, and my own self talk would deter me from wanting to finish achieving many goals. One of my goals was coming from being a client to becoming an employee and understanding I have worked hard to get to this point, and not feel like I can’t be responsible on my own. My boss, C.H., has had numerous talks with me about how I have come so far and should be more confident of being a responsible person.
I thought to seek assistance from my co-workers at St. Stephens Human Services to get their input regarding this issue. There are two individuals, Caitlin Hozeny and Marquel Wallace, who I have come to admire as I have observed the work they do and how they interact with clients and coworkers.
Caitlin had this to say: “Patience is important in the work I do, because my clients are dealing with many different types of situations that I could never fully understand myself. Although it can be challenging to work with people who are experiencing homelessness and poverty, showing compassion and empathy is often a way to help them establish a starting point of trust.
“Once a person feels understood,” Caitlin continued, “it is more likely that the process of working together will become smoother. I had a client who had some struggles in a couple of areas. After assuring her that she had the strength to choose which area she wanted to address first, she decided to work on her mental health concerns, because she knew that using drugs to self-medicate was a bad option for her.
“My patience gave her the room to make her own decision and led to her longest stretch of sobriety she’s had in awhile. Working directly with people and seeing the systems that need to be improved give me the credibility and drive to make change,” said Caitlin.
Marquel stated, “I think remaining patient allows me to work with program participants in every interaction. Both the participants and myself are at an advantage when patience is exhibited. I believe Social Services chose me. I was raised and I try to stay true to my spiritual nature, which allows me to stay honest to who I am.
“In a world that (to me) is highly misled about the concept of progress, I find peace in patience. The beauty of perception can only be seen by a patient eye,” Marquel said. “When things are going bad, I look forward to knowing even bad things have an end, and when things are good, celebrate in them and start planning your next cause for celebration.”
As always, my articles would not be complete without words of wisdom and encouragement from my family at High Praise Ministries and my pastor, DeWayne Hill.
Pastor Hill always gives me encouragement and continues to tell me, “Son, look at how far God has brought you, and don’t allow the enemy to confuse your mind. We all have bad days, but we must know in them there is a purpose for our lives or we would not still be here. Be patient knowing that you are still here for a reason, and I will never give up on you.”
My family at High Praise are much like my biological family, whose patience with me shows me unconditional love and gives me strength when times seem roughest.
I admit I can be stubborn at times and want to throw pity parties when things don’t go as quickly or even the way I want or expect them to. As of late, I have continuously chose to never give up, and most importantly to do my best to LISTEN even if I don’t like what I hear. The people I now surround myself with really do have my best interest at heart.
Once again, thank you readers for allowing me to share my journey with you, and I hope the honesty with my issues helps others who are dealing with these issues as well.
Until next time, be good to yourself and know you DO have a purpose no matter how bad the situation is right now.
James Davis welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.