Day 10. Patience...

by Christina


Patience… perhaps this is one of the most challenging traits of peace. In a world where we are on the go rushing here and there, crossing off items from a never-ending to-do list, seeking instant gratification, and quick fixes, to have patience seems to have no place.

 Muddy waters along the Rio Grand, New Mexico

Muddy waters along the Rio Grand, New Mexico

I recently attended the Hunger Summit organized by the World Food Prize and spoke with one of the keynote speakers on malnutrition and violence. I’ll get to this topic a little later this week yet the conversation with her was breathtaking… literally. Have you ever come across someone that you knew you had to meet… to introduce yourself? I listened to her talk and I knew I must share with her the vision of Project Peace. I know, risky, you say… she could laugh… but it was a chance I knew I needed to take.

As I explained my background and pivotal life moments in what could be best described as a 3 minute play… scene 1, scene 2, scene 3… to present day. I told her of my dreams to plant seeds of peace around the world and to use that energy to pay it forward… to raise money that would continue the ripple… to help so that others can live in a non-violent world with access to healthy food and clean water. I finished my elevator pitch on Project Peace and my life story by saying “But I just don’t know where to go from here…”

She paused…. she took a deep breath and looked at me; all the while I’m thinking… it’s time to exit.

And then she said this…

“I don’t know what I have to offer you but I can tell you this one thing…”

I had chills… recall that this is the E-X-A-C-T verbiage used by Mr. Hagerty during our “Be Present” conversation.

“Be still.”

Yes, that was her “one thing.”

She said “there is some story about being still while standing in the muddy water and letting the mud settle long enough to make the water clear. I can’t remember the exact words but you get the idea.

You have all the ingredients, you just need to be still and let the mud settle so you can see clearly the path forward. You must be patient.”

I felt myself tense up “be patient?” No, I’m ready right NOW for the answer… I want to take that next step. Please tell me the answer I thought… you have to KNOW what I should do right now.

Be still. That was her answer… that was the next “step.”

Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?
— Lao Tzu
 Clelar waters in the Lochsa River, Idaho

Clelar waters in the Lochsa River, Idaho

Peace seed #10.

Be present. Be still. They are intertwined yet different. As you knit (or walk or sit and drink your favorite cuppa) think about how you might cultivate the concept of being more still. What does “be still” mean to you?

 Winter stillness, Iowa

Winter stillness, Iowa