Gary Player, the South African professional golfer, was famously quoted as saying that “the more I practise, the luckier I become”. Nine major championships to his name is strong evidence that there is more than a grain of truth in this simple working philosophy. Of course, what helps us to be able to sustain hours and hours of practice or effort, sometimes with little or no success, is a tremendous amount of patience – that ability to wait calmly for something to happen.
Through April, I have been exploring the importance of patience with the children. I would go so far as to suggest that it is one of the greatest challenges in life: to wait for something to happen. This is perhaps even more than case in today’s world where we can, for example, use Google to quickly find answers to those questions that are frustrating us or watch a whole series with on-demand television when previously we had to wait a whole week between episodes!
I have encouraged the children to think about how they wait and recognise that there are fundamentally two choices. The first option is to become frustrated, angry and cross – inevitably this usually upsets other people (as well as ourselves), we make poor decisions in haste and rarely does it change the speed at which something happens. The alternative – though not necessarily the easier of the two options – is to stay calm, remain happy and enjoy the passing moments. Not only does the latter option show respect for those around us but invariably things materialise far better than we had anticipated. To quote a famous drinks retailer, ‘good things come to those who wait’!