I've been planning all week to write about the cultivation of patience.
But just today I've discovered that it's not truly patience that I've been developing this week, but rather my ability to more thoroughly interrogate my thoughts before acting or judging, and through this interrogation, I've discovered that in fact, I've been challenged to develop my capacity for tolerance.
Patience will need to wait.
I have become aware that I have an extreme lack of intolerance for inefficient and meaningless bureaucratic processes.
For example, repeating your name and birth date to every one of four people that you are passed through on a call to a financial institution or utility company - after you've just spent precious minutes inputting the same information in via the keypad on your phone.
Charles Dickens captured the bureaucratic mouse-wheel in great detail in his novel Little Dorrit, where he describes the 'Circumlocution Office'.
In exquisite satire, Dickens describes a place where the sole purpose of hundreds of workers and leaders is to discover 'How not to do it' in the most roundabout and complicated of ways.
Marcus Aurelius warns us in his 'Meditations' that we should remember that every day we will come into contact with people who will not live up to our expectations.
Translations vary, but here's one... "Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness - all of them due to the offenders' ignorance of what is good or evil."
Perhaps, the only way to suffer fools is indeed to extend some tolerance and to assume that they do not know better, or could they indeed be suffering from ignorance and perhaps under a difficulty that we cannot comprehend.
It's nearly a cliché, or at the very least a frequent occurrence in your Pinterest feed but it's worth repeating...'Be kind always, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.'