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... for a better life tomorrow.

Well, that makes sense I suppose.

Photograph of Her Secret Is Patience in downto...

Photograph of Her Secret Is Patience in downtown Phoenix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure I ever heard that before today. Well, as they say … “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Frankly, when I first heard it … before I heard the rest of the story … it sounded a lot like the signs along the highways all summer about the traffic-snarling construction .

“Temporary Inconvenience – Permanent Improvement.”


I’m usually more of a “Grant me patience, and grant it right now” kind of a person when patience is needed.

Today was one of those more challenging days. Challenging, of course, meaning if anything could go wrong it did.

From money not arriving that was expected … to mail not arriving that was expected … to weight loss not happening that … well … OK … I wasn’t really expecting the weight loss.

But still.

Her Secret Is Patience? OK. I’ll bite.

I then called one of my many calls planned for the day. And talked to a young man named Michael.

I don’t know his last name, but he had the words of wisdom that affected me deeply.

He began, by sharing his woes. I seem to bring that out in folks, even when we are talking of something altogether different.

So I shared a quote that I have heard often.

This too shall pass.

A short pause on the other end. Then a sigh. Then a story.

“That reminds me of something that happened to me a few years ago.”

“I was still in college … knee-deep in student debt and worries of finals and grades and future possible employment.”

“While waiting for the bus, I started thinking of what a Murphy’s Law kind of day it had been. You know, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Nothing was going right in my life. And I mentioned this … at great length … to a man who always rode the bus with me.”

“He was a small Asian man. From Cambodia as it turns out … and he told me his story.”

“It seems that when he was my age, he and his family were faced with more than Murphy’s Law situations. Lives were in great danger … war was everywhere … and most of his family was killed.”

“When the war eventually stopped, the remaining people in his family all worked as hard as possible to save enough money to send one person to freedom … one person to the hope for a better life … a life in America.”

“He was chosen as the fortunate man to be given the chance to leave. The oldest living member of his family told him to never forget the lesson … the lesson they all knew … the lesson they had practiced all through the war and the years after the war.”

“Patience today … for a better life tomorrow.

“He left the few remaining members of his family behind … with great thanks and full of gratitude … and came to the land which promised a future unlike anything available to him in Cambodia.”

“For years he worked and studied and eventually earned his PhD.”

“I hadn’t thought about that for a while.”

We continued our discussion and accomplished what needed to be accomplished.

Right before he hung up, he said “Don’t forget … Patience today … for a better tomorrow.”

I won’t forget.