‘Patience did not achieve its status as a virtue because our greatest moral thinkers held in high esteem the ability to sit still. What they actually had in mind was a particular relationship between the self and the other, an inward restraint that has nothing to do with behaving like a rock and everything to do with how we treat other people. Silence and endurance are the hallmarks of rugged individualism, not of patience. What patience requires is humility, empathy, and forbearance: the ability to set aside our own needs for a while, to listen, to stay calm, to keep working together toward a given end despite all the setbacks we encounter along the way.’ (from the New Yorker)
This paragraph is from the closing of a typically fascinating New Yorker article, one that looked at Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, among other things. That book was one of the first Buddhist books I read, and I remember enjoying it greatly, while still worrying about some of the human aspects that are also highlighted in the article.