|1. Patience is a sign of inner peace.
When one is at ease with oneself, with what one has done with one's life,
and with one's approaching death, time loses its urgency and becomes more
an ocean than a stream.|
2. Patience allows one to listen and observe
before one acts or speaks. It allows events to reach maturity, so that
choice can be better informed by circumstance. It allows time for words
and acts to put on weight, so as to appear abroad with sufficient
3. One is patient with what one has accepted
and impatient with what one resists. One is patient with what one loves
and impatient with what one resents. Thus the more one loves life and
accepts death and pain, the more patient one will be.
4. If patience expands one's time, tolerance
expands one's space, allowing differences to generate interest rather than
conflict so that one can learn from them and live in a wider
5. When others can also be right, one can
begin to see the world from multiple points of view, and one's field of
thought becomes more like a galaxy than like the narrow mountain valley of
6. The burden of being right contains the
additional burden of proving others wrong, which together is enough weight
to keep any bird from taking flight.
7. Humor, especially self-deprecating humor,
allows one to step outside oneself with a light and varied
8. Humor arises from incongruity, which
arises from viewing something simultaneously from multiple points of view.
It therefore incorporates both tolerance and patience, teaching
self-knowledge through mischievous pleasure.
9. Humor is the friend of moderation and the
enemy of excess, for excess is a balloon and humor a
10. Patience, tolerance, and humor must be
practiced in moderation, for there are circumstances in which a light
heart is not appropriate, and evils that ought not be tolerated or
patiently borne. But neither ought one be so consumed with evil that one
becomes incapable of happiness. For life is short and evil long, and there
is no need to condemn oneself to live within its prison when all around
one the world is bursting with glory.
Next: Wisdom in
the Modern World: Secularization
The Practice of Wisdom: Character
On Wisdom: Table