With years of divisive politics, 20 months of a worldwide pandemic, and myriad laws that seem to change daily, people's patience is wearing thin and our 'buttons' are being pushed more often.
I was chatting about this with a friend and suggested that, like golf, perhaps doing well in life means arriving at the end with as few buttons as possible, to which she replied, "Why wait to the end? Why not lose the buttons now?"
After a pregnant pause, I admitted that was a good direction to surmise and started wondering, in the context of the current social climate, what would change in my life IF I could rid myself of my buttons?
How would my emotional repertoire and responses change in my day-to-day relationships?
If I had no buttons to be pushed, I would not be affronted by opinions different from my own.
I would not lash out from my own powerlessness.
I could enter conversations curious about the thoughts and perspectives of others.
I could catch critical comments and not personalize my reactions.
Without buttons to be pushed, my patience would not wear thin.
Which circles back to the constant correlation between thin patience and our buttons. Thicker patience endures, engaging the charity of acceptance, our buttons idle to insolence, real or imagined.
A lovely Buddhist proverb states, "If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."
The Bible likewise encourages us to be "slow in anger and rich in love."
The current social climate is ripe for reaction.
Yet reaction is always primed for patience.
Why wait – why not lose the buttons now?