Patience is not a virtue. It’s an illness.
That’s why hospitals and doctors’ waiting rooms are full of patients – people being patient. Waiting, enduring without complaining, coping with the pain and the anxiety and the concept of dying. Then again that in itself is pretty virtuous. Remarkably, the fact that the adjective for practicing patience is a synonym for the noun for being treated for illness, makes absolute sense.
What about impatience then? If the synonym theory applied also to the opposites, then being impatient would imply a state of perfect health, of not requiring medical care – not being a patient. Upon leaving the hospital, treatment complete, health restored, one would automatically be an impatient. Would they?
Being chronically impatient on the other hand, makes you a patient. When you can’t wait for the next moment and are constantly, persistently, striving to make it happen now, then impatience is a self-destructive, mind-consuming condition. Cycles start and take their own sweet time to complete. No reason to fast-forward. Patience.
I am impatient, therefore I am a patient; an impatient patient.
George Michael on Patience: