Practicing Patience

Bird Droppings February 20, 2022
Practicing Patience

It has been nearly thirty-five years since I first went to Hemmingway’s just off the interstate in Decatur, Georgia. It was a favorite local entertainment establishment. My wife and I would go before and after our marriage primarily to listen to a local singer who provided a fantastic evening of music with his band. I recall my cousin Bill sending up a napkin with a Deep Purple song written numerous times. Ron Kimble and his band tended to cover southern rock and country songs more than anything else, so it was always a big joke when our hard-core metal cousin would pass the napkin up to the front. But one night, Ron took the mike and said, we have received quite a few requests for this song seems to be all in the same handwriting, though, and they cut loose on that song.

So here I am at eight-thirty in the morning, sitting and listening to a song written and sung by the late Ron Kimble. By most standards, Ron is a big man, and his voice is even bigger. The song is entitled, My little granddaddy; it is a story of his granddaddy telling stories and always having a “sweet tater” for his grandson. Every time I listen to this song, I obsess and play two or three times, and even after a million plays, a tear trickles down my cheek. It seems it has me thinking about my dad and granddad to my sons and how he rode around on his golf cart with a load of grandkids telling stories about World War II and about the local hermit that lived in the woods below his house or about Little Strong Arm a Native American chief. I miss my dad, and my wife misses her dad, and as I talk with people who have lost parents over the year, little things remind us as we go through our days. It for me could be picking up a piece of blue lace agate or gold ore at school, but for now, I sit and listen to a simple little song and a catchy little tune and thank Ron Kimble for it and for giving me a tie to my father.

“Now, there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful to your enemy for providing that precious opportunity.” Dalai Lama

Over the past few years, I have worked on getting annual Individual Educational Plans completed for my caseload where ever I Ws working. It seems that on top of the stress and emotions of dealing with parents and kids trying to come up with how we should provide education for this child, the kids this week after a break are wound up as well. One day back, after finishing class, I told a dear friend that it is more exhausting to practice patience than getting upset, and it takes effort to contain oneself rather than blow up. I have come to find that when kids are agitated, there is a reason, and far too often, it has nothing to do with us but something from home or outside school compounded by whatever issues that particular child is involved.

As I read the statement from the Dalai Lama and how we should be happy for the people who provide us with the opportunity to practice patience, it can be hard to understand what this man is saying. But as I ponder, and I do a lot of pondering this time of day, I am thankful for the week trying as it may have been, and all of the people who added to and provided me with an opportunity to be patient. Within these problematic relationships and interactions, we can practice and hone our patience skills. It is Friday, and this week while perhaps it has flown by, has seemingly dragged on for so long in other ways. So as I close today and as I have for many years now, my dear friends, please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and our hearts namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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