The virtue of patience is about dealing with difficult people: Those who won’t listen to reason, easily get upset, and just refuse to get along. Their own deep wounds prevent them from relating to others with even a minimum of openness and sanity.
Such difficult people interrupt us all the time, criticize us for the sake of criticizing, insist on getting our time or attention or money, whine or sabotage, who start talking to us and won’t let us go even though they know we are in a hurry, and so on.
Yet we need to make time for those who cross our path.
Martin Buber spoke of the difference between the I-Thou and the I-it relationship. An I-it relation transforms the other into a thing, whereas I-Thou is the true relation, the union between two souls. I-it relationships are alienating -they make us what we are not. We then feel lonely and depressed, distant from others.
I-Thou is the true encounter, the very substance of our life. According to Buber, in order for
this relationship to be possible, there must be no expectation or desire, otherwise we fall into an I-it relationship, that is, we transform the other into a means of satisfying our demands.
In the rare moments of an I-Thou relationship, there is no more urgency to make something happen, no pressure to manipulate or persuade. If urgency arises, the relationship straightaway
becomes I-it. If we slow down, we are more likely to meet truly and to know each other.
Piero FerrucciFull Glossary Index