Urgent Patience - Why Wait and See is a Sucker’s Game

In chaotic times, patience plays a critical role. Without it, frustration leads to distrust or anger, and from there to places much worse. Michael Schulder, a senior executive producer at CNN, blogged about the urgency of patience recently. He related the following:

One of my formative experiences on the tension between patience and urgency came ten years ago when our first child was four days old. She stopped eating. My wife and I thought something was terribly wrong. One doctor urged patience - a “wait and see” approach.

“Wait and see is a sucker’s game,” said my father-in-law. So we rushed our daughter to the hospital. The abdominal x-rays told the doctors something was terribly wrong - that urgent action was needed.

Before we knew it, our daughter was on the operating table. What the surgeon found when he opened her up was a perforated duodenal ulcer, so rare in a newborn that none of the doctors at the superb Egelston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta had ever seen such a case before. Sort of like today’s economists and business leaders. Dr. Mark Wulkan patched up the ulcer. But our daughter didn’t wake up from the anesthesia that day. One of the hospital’s leading medical professors advised us to be patient, to take this one day at a time. We took his advice, as best we could, because we knew the doctors were doing everything they could.

Two Takeaways

  1. Michael, like all of us, needed to know that those who are in control are urgently doing all they can, in order to remain patient. For those of us who need the patience and trust of others must urgently be doing all we can so that others who are entrusted to us, can keep patience and hope alive.
  2. In our own lives, 'wait and see' often leads to lost opportunities, frustration, and anger, while urgent patience helps us focus on doing all within our power than and then patient trusting that things will work out as they should.