On "Poria"

Before you click back to Facebook or YouTube, this blog is not a science lesson about the beetle, the fungus or the crustacean all known as “poria.” (Thanks Wikipedia!) Rather, it’s something of an English lesson. That’s because “poria” is the only word you can create from the word “appreciation”. That is, if you take out the letters that spell “patience.” 

I was playing around with words and letters today when I realized that you literally cannot spell appreciation without patience. Appreciation is defined as “an expression of admiration, approval or gratitude.” I think that to reap bountiful, personal rewards from that word, you should replace the “or” in the definition with “and.”

Alright, enough of the wordplay for now. Everyone always says that patience is a virtue. Well, I humbly submit that patience is much more than that. Patience is a skill. Just like many other personality traits, patience is something that we aren’t born with. It is a virtue that is learned. We don’t always think about it, but we are born 100% selfish. I guess you could say we were born with a basic survival instinct. When we are babies, all we care about is that we are comforted and fed. That’s it. We don’t care if Mom or Dad is tired of 2 a.m. feedings or that your Aunt Joan is convinced you have your father’s eyes. We just care about ourselves, and that’s how it should be.

So clearly “patience” and “appreciation” are two abstract terms we know nothing about until we are much older. And besides having most of the same letters, these words are not mutually exclusive when it comes to people. In order to have true appreciation for someone in our lives, we often have to exhibit an inordinate amount of patience with them.

For me, this weekend was a true lesson in these words. Besides taking care of my Mom while she was recovering from surgery this week, I’m learning to appreciate other loved ones. I have learned that there are amazing people who have come into my life only temporarily. That is an extremely difficult thing to accept, especially when you have grown up with most of the same family and friends all of your life. It will be hard to let people go and to have the patience to await their return.

Who do you appreciate? (*cue the cheer*) How have you learned patience with them?


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