As I mentioned in the first Words to Live By post, Desperation Versus Determination, positive language leads to a more positive life. I also believe that any negative word (and associated emotion, belief, or action) has a positive side that we can choose to focus on instead.
Passive Versus Patient
Waiting is something that we’ve all had to do; however, there’s an important difference between passively waiting and patiently waiting.
Being passive means being inactive, and being inactive means that you’ve given up control. Being patient means waiting with calmness, which can be inactive, but it doesn’t have to be. Control hasn’t been ceded; patience allows for productive activity while waiting.
To illustrate my point, think of a passive farmer and a patient farmer.
The passive farmer would plant his seed and then do nothing. If it rains enough and if the ground has enough nutrients, then he will have a successful crop, and his passivity will have paid off. If it doesn’t rain enough or the ground doesn’t have the right nutrients, then he will have a poor crop.
Either way, it’s not up to him.
The patient farmer would plant his seeds and then wait with calmness. He will, however, remain active. He will monitor rainfall and the nutrients in the ground, and if needed, he will irrigate and fertilize.
There is, of course, a limit to how much a farmer can do to assist his crops, but the patient farmer’s chances of success are greater than those of the passive farmer. He has more control.
If you are passive, then you must deal what is dealt to you. If you’re patient, then you will have some control over the outcome.