Patient and Kind

By design, my life is fairly quiet.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s too quiet, but not because I feel I’m missing something. I wonder this because I’ll occasionally look inside my world from an outsider’s point of view and I’ll think that something needs to change.

This is a short-lived belief. I’m more than good with the way things are, as there is no shortage of peace.

The last time I went through this thought process was on Saturday. I was putting together some patio furniture I had delivered, and was doing so in the comfort of my family room. No music, no TV — just some ice water, some poorly written directions and some pre-packaged tools.

It was a warm day, but not stifling. I had the patio doors open, as well as a window for some cross-ventilation. Every now and then, a slight breeze would make its way inside at the moment I needed it the most. Aside from the clanking of an Allen wrench here and there, I was being productive in an otherwise silent environment. I was quite happy.

Then I heard it: angry yelling. The fight of all fights, or so it seemed. The neighborhood hadn’t heard anything like it in a long time, and in between his f-bombs and her screaming back, I found myself wondering what sort of apology could ever make up for the words those two were exchanging.

I know nothing about either individual, but I heard what was said. I heard threats and promises, and I don’t know whether they were empty or sincere. But I wondered whether a relationship of that nature would ever be one that either person would leave — could leave — or whether each was perhaps under the impression that it’s “just the way relationships go.” If the latter is true, then it’s a sad state of affairs. If the latter is true, I wonder what sort of example those people had set for them by family and friends over the years.

They got into separate cars and sped away in opposite directions, with all tires squealing and having their own say. They must’ve come back together long enough to find something else to argue about, because round two was heard on Sunday. If love is patient and love is kind, then this seemed to be anything but love.

I may wonder occasionally whether my life is too quiet, but deep down I know it’s not. The weekend, however, reminded me that sharing my life with someone else will require that he be an individual who adds to my peace, builds me up with kind words and not angry ones, and who knows the value of working through disagreements with a healthy dose of sanity and patience, versus avoiding the rough patches and leaving without any resolution. And I’m thankful that my parents have always been an example of patience and kindness in my own life.

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