Friday, July 5, 2013

Practicing Patience

Volunteer drivers often report a long laundry list of what they have gained from serving with our program: companionship, humility, a deeper understanding of the aging process, a newfound knowledge of local medical facilities, hope, joy, and PATIENCE!  Patience is a quality that is not innate in most of us.  As Eknath Easwarn writes, “Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle.”

Volunteer driving is great “conditioning” for our patience muscles.   Our clients move slowly—sometimes painstakingly slowly.  We often have to repeat ourselves multiple times, as clients may not hear or understand what we’ve already said.  Appointments can take longer than expected.  We often feel like we’re waiting and waiting and waiting.

But, as we learn to slow things down a few notches, we transform from impatient, irritated, over-stimulated modern adults to icons of mindfulness, serenity, and fortitude.  Fulton Sheen reminds us that “patience is power.”

So, as we inch along and feel as though the world is on “pause” (or “repeat”) with the senior clients of our program, let us remember that this is not a burden.  Rather, it is a gift!  Just like successful athletes, we are training for the important challenges of life.


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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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