there just might be another way
In a cool classroom on the third floor of the business school on a sunny Friday, I sat grading final internship presentations. There were less than a handful of presentations. Each student reflected on general observations about his/her respective experience of and key takeaways from their most recent internship. They were 7-8 minutes, rehearsed schpeals guided by PPTs.
Regardless of internship, industry, presentation, personality, I asked each student the same question – what did you learn about yourself through this experience?
I’m surprised that I was surprised by one of the responses.
“I learned that I’m really patient,” Sarah said, softly, and ironically, very patiently.
I had never really heard that answer before; and especially not from a 20something. Hell, I never said that when I was 20. (I don’t say that now.)
Not two days before, I was in a Bible study that was digging into the beginning of Philippians when the classical, Biblical topic of waiting came up. It’s about as old a question or topic or thought-process as the Bible itself – what are we waiting for, how long do you wait, do you just keep on waiting, how do you not get angry waiting, how long do you trust what we can’t see and just…wait? What never really dawned on me though was that the topic of waiting – for anything – is really more so a conversation about how we wait. Do we wait for something – anything – pissed off and nervous with our toe-tapping and an inner monologue running like a stock ticker across our brain with questions about how stupid all this is? Or do we wait just open and joyful? Can you even wait for something joyfully? Can you wait happy?
To be honest – I hadn’t really considered waiting for anything as a joyful process. But I guess it totally can be.
It totally can be in the same way we can learn that we’re patient or we need a day to think or we’re actually an introvert or we’re someone who doesn’t mind the wait.
We teach each other to answer the question of “What did you learn about yourself?” with an answer about speed and efficiency and performance; something sexy and cool that makes us sound better than someone else.
So, what if we flipped the switch, and answered that question with patience; or waited with unbridled joy.
All this is meant to say that in a world that teaches us to hustle, to grind, to be one step ahead, to do things faster than anyone, that you should be totally pissed off and frustrated that you have to wait for anything – there just might be another way.