The word patience means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. This sounds the same as patients, people who see the doctor. They must be patient, tolerant, as they wait their turn. You get it! The word is defined by the context.

During a recent trip to New York City, my capacity to tolerate delay, patience, was tested and was in sharp contrast to the behavior exhibited by a cab driver who was patient as he spent nearly an hour weaving in and out of traffic to go no more than a mile. We were traveling from 32nd Street and Broadway to LaGuardia Airport.

The short hop from Midtown to the tunnel was the problem. One-way streets had been redirected and traffic in a four-lane street had been narrowed to one lane and trucks were ever present often grabbing an undeserved advantage just because of their size. In the backseat of the cab with two companions, I was feeling everything that the word patience does not describe. I was anxious (experiencing worry, and unease).

Our driver remained calm, unflappable, and unreactive to the vehicles causing gridlock at intersections and aggressively cutting in to change lanes. The patience he exhibited was the only way to behave if he planned to do the job for more than a day. He wasn’t passive and resigned, just realistic. When the traffic cleared, he sped past the cars and trucks around us to get us to the airport on time; which made me, the labile cargo, anxious once again—because we were going too fast. Oh well. Life has its ups and downs.

We made it.