Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Well Said: The cardinal sin

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
W. H. Auden
I tend to think of impatience as being a specifically American flaw. However, this makes me reflect that impatience is perhaps simply a human flaw. Certainly it is food for reflection.


  1. Leah Libresco at Unequally Yoked recently posted a quote from Pope Francis's book that links impatience with hopelessness, see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2014/03/the-odd-contempt-of-impatience.html

    1. I suppose that could be the case and I do understand the reasoning behind Francis's and Leah's comments ... however, for me (continually impatient) it has nothing to do with hopelessness. It has to do with wanting to get things done right, right now, and why should we wait when the road is clear? It has to do with pride (my way is right and let's do it now) and wanting to get on with the job, the idea that waiting around is just wasting time. In a big sense, I suppose it has to do with a lack of imagination more than a lack of hope. It has to do with being unable to imagine that there could be a different way that takes more time.

      At least, when I've observed impatience in those who are hurrying up something that I (for a change) want to be more patient about, that is what I've seen. They can't imagine a different way. Or they don't trust a different way. So again, we're down to pride and trust as issues.

      Not saying that hopelessness may not have something to do with it ... but there are other motivations that are just as valid (and just as wrong). :-)

    2. I agree with you Julie - impatience is linked to pride in my mind. If I can be humble I can wait. If I was hopeless I would not be impatient because there would be nothing to anticipate - rather I'd be despondent. The hopeless/impatience link doesn't compute IMO.

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