Harvey S. Hecker Character Development Series: Our words are a powerful force to build – and destroy.
#6: Patience, or How to Overcome Road Rage
Originally published by Rabbi Shraga Simmons on aish.com
You’re driving to an important meeting but traffic refuses to cooperate and you hit gridlock. “Who are all these people messing up my life?” you shout, infuriated. “Get off the road! NOW!”
From a Jewish perspective, traffic is not a meaningless nuisance, but rather a tool for developing patience. It’s a sign to calm down get out of the anxiety-ridden state of “I must get to the meeting!” Stop. Breathe. Focus on the moment. And say the word “patience” – slowly, and with patience.
The Hebrew word for “patience” – savlanut – refers to the capacity to endure difficulty or inconvenience without complaint.
We’d like to believe that life will unfold in the way we imagine. When reality proves different, it signals our loss of control.
We can get stressed out, lose patience and next thing you know – boom – we’re laying on the horn and pounding the dashboard.