Patience as a Virtue


            In the song “Patience” from the hit film Dreamgirls, Keith Robinson, Eddie Murphy and Anika Noni Rose sing: “I know you have questions, same ones as me.  How long has it been?  How long will it be?

            “When will come the morning to drive the night away?  When will come the morning of a brighter day?”

            The lyrics of the song preached patience as virtue, despite the hardships and obstacles that plague us on a daily basis.  Older generations knew that the finer things in life and time takes patience, but younger generations have forgotten those lessons and many believe that success and stardom comes quickly and easily.

            As playwright Tyler Perry states in his new stage production “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” too many people from the younger generations view the bling bling materialistic culture in hip-hop music and believe that fame and fortune will be handed to them without sacrificing their blood, sweat and tears.  And unfortunately, patience as virtue is seen as an unattractive quality.

            For anyone who has worked in the teaching profession over the past decade can attest, we as an entire nation are living in the “hand out” generation.  Schools, from elementary to college are inundated with students who expect a handout in the classroom even if they did not earn the grade.

            Many of these same students will speak of their lofty aspirations without realizing the work it takes to achieve greatness in life.  The media bombards us with financial success stories and celebrity and many think that true success comes naturally without hard work.

            Celebrities like Perry and Steve Harvey overcame extreme difficulties on their journey to the top, but unfortunately some only see the end result and not the process that got them there.

            Perry was once homeless and sleeping in a car before he got his big breakthrough on the urban theater circuit.  Harvey grew up in the housing projects of Cleveland and did not own a car in his name until he was well into his thirties.

            The road to success for many celebrities, athletes and entrepreneurs started on a dirt road and took years for them to reach a street paved in gold.

            The old folks would say that anything you receive easily, you can lose easily or everything that glitters is not gold.  Patience as virtue will help anyone on their road through adversity to their ultimate accomplishments, but whatever one’s situation is it will not be easy.

            For some it is not the desire for fame and fortune they are searching for, but the strength to persevere through life’s tribulation.  Nevertheless, patience as a virtue applies to their situation as well.  No matter how many curveballs life throws your way, continuing the fight will always make you a winner.

            As the song states, “There’s a river to cross and a mountain to climb, patience, patience, it’s gonna take some time.

            “We must walk in peace it’s the only way if we want to see the morning of a brighter day.”

Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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