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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patience, engraving by Hans Sebald Beham, 1540

Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Antonyms include hastiness and impetuousness.


Scientific perspectives

In evolutionary psychology and in cognitive neuroscience, patience is studied as a decision-making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in a short span of time, or a more valuable reward after a long period of time. All animals, humans included, discount future rewards—the present value of delayed rewards is viewed as less than the value of immediate rewards.

In a 2005 study involving common marmosets and cottontop tamarins, both species faced a self-control paradigm in which individuals chose between taking an immediate small reward and waiting a variable amount of time for a large reward. Under these conditions, marmosets waited significantly longer for food than tamarins. This difference cannot be explained by life history, social behaviour or brain size. It can, however, be explained by feeding ecology: marmosets rely on gum, a food product acquired by waiting for exudate to flow from trees, whereas tamarins feed on insects, a food product requiring impulsive action. Foraging ecology, therefore, may provide a selective pressure for the evolution of self-control.[1]

Religious perspectives

Patience is often described as a core virtue in religion or spiritual practices. For example, Job is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, Christian Bible and the Qur'an; his story is considered a profound religious work. At its core, the theme is the co-existence of evil and God and the application of patience is highlighted as the antidote to the earthly struggles caused by that co-existence. The plot of the book is that Job endures near-apocalyptic calamities without losing his patience or reproaching Divine Providence. In the Qur'an, the person of Job is actually known as Ayyūb (Arabic: أيوب ), which is a name that is symbolic of the virtue of patience (although it does not mean patience in itself).



Patience and fortitude are prominent themes in Judaism. The Talmud extols patience as an important personal trait. The story of Micah, for example, is that he suffers many challenging conditions and yet endures, saying "I will wait for the God who saves me." Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.[2]

In the Hebrew Torah, patience is referred to in several proverbs, such as "The patient man shows much good sense, but the quick-tempered man displays folly at its height" (Proverbs 14:29, NAB); "An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord." (Proverbs 15:18, NAB); and "A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32). The emotion is also discussed in other sections, such as Ecclesiastes: "Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not in spirit become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool." (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9, NAB).


In the Christian religion, patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life. Increasing patience is viewed as the work of the Holy Ghost in the Christian who has accepted the gift of salvation. While patience is not one of the traditional biblical three theological virtues nor one of the traditional four cardinal virtues, it is one of the seven virtues, alongside chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness, and humility.

In the Christian Bible, patience is referred to in several sections. The Book of Proverbs note that "through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone" (Proverbs 25:14-16, NIV); Ecclesiastes points out that the "end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride" (Ecclesiastes 7:7-9, NIV); and Thessalonians states that we should "be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all" (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, NAB). In the Epistle of James, the Bible urges Christians to be patient, and " see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,...until it receives the early and the late rains." (James 5:7-11, NAB). In Galatians, patience is listed as one of the "fruit of the Spirit": "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law". (Galatians 5:21-23, NIV). In Timothy, the Bible states that "Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life".(1 Timothy 1:15-17, NIV).


Patience in Islam is one of the best and most valuable virtues of life. Through patience, a Muslim believes that an individual can grow closer to Allah and thus attain true peace. It is also stressed in Islam, that Allah is with those who are patient, more specifically during suffering. Some of the Quran verses about patience urge Muslims to "seek God (Allah)'s help with patient perseverance and prayer" (2:45) and "give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere" (2:155-157). The Quran states that Muslims should "Persevere in patience and constancy" (3:200) and "be steadfast in patience" (11:115). It notes that "No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune." (41:35).

As well, the Quran states that "It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West. But it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, And the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; To spend of your substance, out of love for Him, For your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; To be steadfast in prayer And give in charity; To fulfill the contracts which you have made; And to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity And throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing." Qur'an 2:177

The Muslim faith believes that without a good spirit while enduring, the struggle will not bear its full reward, thus, Patiently persevering, striving and going forward, despite the difficulty, is the pinnacle of behavior during challenging times. Through every difficulty, Allah promises, there will be found relief upon its conclusion. Instead of wanting to skip challenging times, and avoid them, Allah is teaching that the way to the easing, is through, the difficulty. It takes patient perseverance, or enduring with a good spirit still intact, in order to reap both the internal and external rewards of struggle.

Eastern religions

In Buddhism, patience (Skt.: kshanti; Pali: khanti) is one of the "perfections" (paramitas) that a bodhisattva trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment (bodhi). Patience is recognized within Hinduism in the Bhagavad Gita. In both Hinduism and Buddhism there is a particular emphasis on meditation, aspects of which lead to a natural state of mindfulness that is conducive to patient, effective and well-organised thought.

Philosophical perspectives

In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that "being able to wait is so hard that the greatest poets did not disdain to make the inability to wait the theme of their poetry." He notes that "Passion will not wait", and gives the example of cases of duels, in which the "advising friends have to determine whether the parties involved might be able to wait a while longer. If they cannot, then a duel is reasonable [because] wait would be to continue suffering the horrible torture of offended honor...".

See also


People in a Waiting Room

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.



  • Patience is not only a virtue, but an acquired trait.
    • Christian Calhoun, The Story of My Life
  • Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
  • Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself.
  • Patience makes lighter / What sorrow may not heal. ("sed levius fit patientia quidquid corrigere est nefas")
  • Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the State, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age.
    • Bishop Horne, Discourses on Several Subjects and Occasions Patience Portrayed
  • We have only to be patient, to pray, and to do His will, according to our present light and strength, and the growth of the soul will go on. The plant grows in the mist and under clouds as truly as under sunshine; so does the heavenly principle within.
  • Patience is a nobler motion than any deed.
    • C.A. Bartol, Radical Problems 1872
  • Patience is the ballast of the soul, that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms: and he, that will venture out without this to make him sail even and steady will certainly make shipwreck, and drown himself; first, in the cares and sorrows of this world; and, then, in perdition.
    • Ezekiel Hopkins Death disarmed of it Sting Of Patience under Afflictions
  • Il n'y a point de chemin trop long à qui marche lentement et sans se presser: il n'y a point d'avantages trop éloignés à qui s'y prépare par la patience.
    • Translation: There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honours too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience.
    • La Bruyère, Les Caractères (1688) Des jugements, aphorism 108
  • If the wicked flourish and thou suffer, be not discouraged. They are fatted for destruction; thou art dieted for health.
  • There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
    • Edmund Burke, Observations on a Late Publication, Intituled, "The Present State of the Nation"
  • Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments; but let him have patience, and he will see them in their proper figures.
  • He that can have patience can have what he will.
  • Patience, my lord. Why, 'tis the soul of peace.
    Of all the virtues 'tis near'st kin to heaven.
    It makes men look like gods; the best of men
    That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
    A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
    The first true gentleman that ever breath'd.
  • Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
  • We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it.
  • Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
    • William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims (1682) no. 234
  • Patience is the art of hoping.
    • Marquis De Vauvenargues Reflections and Maxims (1746) no. 251
  • Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
  • Beware the fury of a patient man.
  • Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • The disciples of a patient Saviour should be patient themselves.
  • Dispose thyself to patience rather than to comfort, and to the bearing of the cross rather than to gladness.
  • Patience is enduring love; experience is perfecting love; and hope is exulting love.
    • Alexander Dickson, p. 442.
  • Patience is the ballast of the soul that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms.
    • Bishop Hopkins, p. 442.
  • A true Christian man is distinguished from other men, not so much by his beneficent works, as by his patience.
  • Christ commands you to take up His cross and follow Him, not that He may humble you, or lay some penance upon you, but that you may surrender the low self-will and the feeble pride of your sin, and ascend into the sublime patience of heavenly charity.
  • It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience.
  • Therefore, let us be patient, patient; and let God our Father teach His own lesson, His own way. Let us try to learn it well and quickly; but do not let us fancy that He will ring the school-bell, and send us to play before our lesson is learnt.
  • Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the time, and not be discouraged at the rests. If we say sadly to ourselves, "There is no music in a rest," let us not forget " there is the making of music in it." The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! How long He waits for us to learn the lesson!
  • Patience! why, it is the soul of peace; of all the virtues it is nearest kin to heaven; it makes men look like gods. The best of men that ever wore earth about Him was a Sufferer,— a soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit; the first true gentleman that ever breathed.
    • Thomas Decker, p. 443.
  • It is easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.
  • When I am about my work, sometimes called unexpectedly and suddenly from one thing to another, I whisper in my heart, " Lord, help me to be patient, help me to remember, and help me to be faithful. Lord, enable me to do all for Christ's sake, and to go forward, leaning on the bosom of His infinite grace."
    • Mary Lyon, p. 444.
  • The holier one is, the more forbearing and loving he is; the more tender and patient and anxious to help others in every way. Think how forbearing and loving Christ is when we do wrong; and there we are to be like Him.
    • Arthur Henry Kenney, p. 444.
  • Show yourself a Christian by suffering without murmuring. In patience possess your soul — they lose nothing who gain Christ.
  • Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on! hold fast! hold out! Patience is genius.
    • Count De Buffon, p. 444.
  • Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
    Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear;
    To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
    Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
    • George Croly, p. 444.


  • All command patience, but none can endure to suffer.
  • Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
  • Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
    • Buffon
  • No school is more necessary to children than patience, because either the will must be broken in childhood or the heart in old age.
    • Richter
  • Patience is a bitter plant but it has sweet fruit.
    • German proverb
  • Patience is the support of weakness; impatience is the ruin of strength.
    • Colton
  • Patience is the virtue of asses.
    • French proverb
  • Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith.
    • Adel Bestavros
  • Patience is the universal equalizer in life between now and eternity.
    • Jesse Gause

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

Patience may refer to:

  • Patience, an opera by W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
  • Patience, a poem by Christopher Smart
  • Patience, a poem by Edith Wharton.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PATIENCE, the name given to certain card-games played by a single person. Although known for centuries, they have seldom been mentioned by writers on playing-cards, and the rules have for the most part been handed down orally. There are two main varieties; in one luck alone prevails, since the player has no choice of play but must follow strict rules; in the other an opportunity is given for the display of skill and judgment, as the player has the choice of several plays at different stages of the game. The usual object is to bring the cards into regular ascending or descending sequences. The starting card is called the "foundation," and the "family" (sequence) is "built" upon it. In other varieties of Patience the object is to make pairs, which are then discarded, the game being brought to a successful conclusion when all the cards have been paired; or to pair cards which will together make certain numbers, and then discard as before. There are hundreds of Patience games, ranging from the simplest to the most complicated.

See Jarbart's Games of Patience in De la Rue's series of handbooks (1905); Patience Games, by "Cavendish" (London, 1890); Cyclopaedia of Card and Table Games, by Professor Hoffmann (London, 1891); Patience Games, by Professor Hoffmann (London, 1892); Games of Patience, by A. Howard Cady (Spalding's Home Library, New York, 1896); Dick's Games of Patience, edited by W. B. and H. B. Dick (New York, 1898); Games of Patience (4 series), by Mary E. W. Jones (London, 1898); Le Livre illustre des patiences, by "Comtesse de Blanccoeur" (Paris, 1898).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also patience


Proper noun




  1. A female given name, a virtue name first used by Puritans in the sixteenth century.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

The Hebrew Scriptures have many words for "patience," corresponding to the varied meanings of this complex virtue; e.g., "erek af" (long-suffering), the patience exhibited in the restraining of justifiable anger (Prov. xiv. 29, xv. 18, xxv. 15); and "erek ruaḥ" ("patient in spirit"; Eccl. vii. 8). The high estimate placed by the Rabbis upon the repression of wrath is illustrated in Ab. iv. 2, where Ben Zoma makes it the indication of power on the basis of Prov. xvi. 32. Further, in Ab. v. 17, in the fourfold classifications, he who is "hard to provoke and easy to pacify" takes first rank. The Scriptures place the highest mark of their approval on this restraint of anger by including it among the attributes of God (Ex. xxxiv. 6; Num. xiv. 18; Ps. lxxxvi. 15).

But most emphasized in the Bible is the patience born of faith, hence exercised toward God, and inferentially toward man. It is the enduring of suffering and privation uncomplainingly and in silence with the assurance that God's salvation will be ultimately manifest to the faithful. This concept pervades the Psalms and many of the Prophets, the terms varying to convey the shades of differentiation of the thought. By waiting for the Lord (Ps. xxv. 5, 21; xxvii. 14; xxxvii. 9, 34; lii. 9; lxix. 6; cxxx. 5; Prov. xx. 22; Isa. xxxiii. 2, xl. 31, xlix. 23; Hos. xii. 7) or by patiently hoping (Mic. vii. 7; Ps. xxxvii. 7; Job xiv. 14, xxix. 21) is learned the patience of silence ("dam"). "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. iii. 26; comp. Ps. lxii. 1, 5).

As types of patience are presented in the Bible Aaron (Lev. x. 3), Job (Job ii. 10), and the servants of the Lord (Isa. li. 6, liii. 7). The patient man, says Ben Sira, will suffer for a time to see joy in the end (Ecclus. [Sirach] i. 23).

The Talmud (Ber. 20a) illustrates the lesson of patience with the following story: "R. Adda b. Ahabah saw a woman wearing a head-dress unbecoming a Jewess and, mistaking her for a Jewess, tore it from her in his zeal. He was fined 400 denarii; whereupon he quoted the popular adage: 'Matun matun arba' me'ah zuze shawe'" ("Patience is worth 400 denarii"; this is a play on the word "matun," which denotes "patience," while "matan," plural of "me'ah," means "two hundred"). Here patience is the same as considerateness. Another Talmudic term for "patience" in the sense of forbearance is "'ober 'al middotaw" (to yield when offended). "R. Akiba was forbearing; therefore his prayer was heard" (Ta'an. 25b).

Even more than in Israel's literature the quality of patience is exhibited in Israel's life. The Wisdom of Solomon (iii. 1, 7) urges the persistence of patience under tribulation and chastening even to the hour of death, with the assurance of blissful immortality beyond. In Ecclus. (Sirach) ii. 1, 15 the further thought is developed that patience is not an expression of faith only, but of fortitude also. In preaching the patience of submission in the Beatitudes, Jesus only reflects rabbinic ethics.

The patience shown by the Israelites in the brief era of their exile is as nothing to its manifestation in the long period of their dispersion. Akiba gives it beautiful expression in smiling at the ruins of Jerusalem, seeing in this fulfilment of the sad predictions assurance of the realization of the joyful.

The patient fidelity of Israel is expressed in the twelfth article of Maimonides' creed: "I believe with a perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and though it be delayed, none the less will I patiently hope every day until he does come."

The modern Jew classes patience among the passive virtues that were the ideals of antiquity rather than those of to-day. Many consider that the moment in civilization has arrived when the continued patience of the Jew ceases to be a virtue, and they plead for the bold assertion of the rights of man.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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