People often tell me I seem very patient and ‘laid back’. In fact, I devoted a whole article to the subject of patience and the importance of this virtue to my recovery. I do find myself becoming impatient. At times I find myself wishing I would awaken tomorrow with a normal gait and speech. I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that patience is the result of trust. When I am in a long line at the grocery store, it may seem to an observer that I am patiently waiting my turn, but it is actually trust that I am exhibiting. In this instance, I trust that the grocery store cashier is working the best he/she can. In my recovery, I trust that the team I chose (including surgeons, therapists, neurologists, and physiologists) is working to the best of their abilities, and have my interests at heart. Conversely, an impatient person may distrust the grocery store cashier or their physician believing their experience could (and should) be in more capable hands. The question then becomes, ‘What have these people done to earn your trust?’ I have no good answer to this, with my only rebuttal being that I trust in the system that has placed this person in their current position.
There is an economic theory called the Peter Principle. In essence, it postulates that in any company, people receive promotions until they are no longer effective at their position (thus no longer receiving promotions). The theory claims that this results in inefficiency in the company, claiming that all people are elevated within a company until it is deemed that he/she is no longer worthy of elevation, meaning we are all in a sub-optimal place in this company. Why would I even mention this theory in an article telling you of the value of trust? Doesn’t this theory argue against trusting others? Besides finding this theory fascinating and wanting to share it with you, I also feel that in order to convince you of anything, all sides must be presented. Even though I find this theory intriguing, I believe that the promotions stop when it is deemed that someone is not only proficient at their position, but also that a change to this job would result in detriment to both the company as well as the individual themselves. Thus resulting in efficiency. In essence, unlike the Peter Principle, I believe that promotions stop because it is decided that these workers are doing a good job and that a change to their position would be detrimental.
Is trust like this genetic or learned? It is likely a combination of the two factors: a baby seems to trust everyone, making a case for the learned argument. However, this same baby might go through a phase of separation anxiety, showing his/her mistrust of anyone but their parent (usually mother), arguing for the inborn or genetic component of our mistrust. I would be delusional if I thought I could solve the centuries-old debate of genetic versus learned; but regardless of the origin of trust, I do believe we can make the conscious decision to think positively and optimistically of others. I am imploring you to trust more than you do. Realize that if you wish yourself to exhibit more patience, what you are actually asking of yourself is to trust more.