Patience | Subira

In my Cell Biology class — which I hadn’t expected to enjoy as much as I do, by the way — we often learn a bit about the people behind the discoveries of the various cellular processes covered in the course. As part of last Thursday’s class, we watched this short video; in it Dr. Robert Weinberg, who was the key person behind a major discovery about the genetic roots of cancer, says that 95% of science research is about being frustrated all time yet persisting because eventually one stumbles upon something huge. This, in my Christian-tinted viewpoint, is living faith. “Living” in that the faith is dynamic; subject to waxing and waning but, in those who truly believe, never dying out. Somewhere between the zone of cautious probability and that of foolhardiness lies a buffer area I call The Faith Zone; I operate in this region most of the time, and it’s both harrowing and exciting. This is a topic lengthy enough to merit a post of it’s own, so I will save it for another day.

However, like the title one of my favourite songs from the Broadway play In The Heights, patience and faith do go hand-in-hand. This entire journey to medical school requires patience to a degree I didn’t know I had: patience to get through a two-year post-baccalaureate program knowing that 4+ more years of school still lie ahead, patience with those who don’t fully comprehend what this calling entails. Patience with my well-meaning patients’ queries about why I don’t have children yet despite being married. Patience with this project: this blog is just under a month old, yet there are moments when I feel my hopes sinking and will flagging as though if it hasn’t picked up by now then it’s not worth it. I am well aware that this is merely self-doubt and I fully understand (and accept!) that these things take time, even when other people’s endeavours seemingly flourish overnight. After all, if even only one person is positively impacted by my writing, then it will have been a huge success.

In trying to be patient, we usually find appreciation and gratitude along the way. In this modern life suffused with instant gratification it can be challenging to exercise patience, yet even some of those forms of instant gratification bear lessons in tenacity. For instance, however long a medication takes to have an effect that waiting period is still vastly shorter than how long it took to develop the drug. The speed at which we feel better represents years of research, hard work, and disappointments — and patience. Looking at it this way can turn complaints into gratitude and acceptance of the drug’s shortcomings. There are many other examples of this in our daily lives, if we take a moment to pause and reflect. I have been trying to do this whenever I find myself struck by impatience, and it has made me more grateful overall. I encourage you to try it!

Sylvia

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Kwenye darasa langu la Bayolojia ya Seli — ambayo sikutarajia kufurahia kiasi hiki, kusema ukweli — huwa tunajifunza kidogo kuhusu watu waliogundua miendo mbalimbali ya kwenye seli. Alhamis iliyopita, tuliangalia hii filamu fupi darasani; humo Dr. Robert Weinberg, ambaye alikuwa kiongozi kwenye kugundua vyanzo vya saratani kwenye chembe za urithi, anasema kuwa 95% ya utafiti kwenye sayansi kunakatisha tamaa lakini watafiti hukazana kwa kuwa hatimaye jambo kubwa hugundulika. Kwa mtazamo wangu wa Kikristu, hii ni imani hai.”Hai” ikimaanisha kuwa imani hiyo ina vipindi vya kuongezeka na vipindi vya kupungua, lakini kwa wale wanaosadiki haswa kamwe haifi. Katikati ya kujihadhari na kuwa mjinga kuna eneo niitalo “Kanda ya Imani”; mtazamo wangu huwa katika hili eneo wakati mwingi, na panaogofya na pia kusisimua. Ila hili suala la imani linastahili fungu lake lenyewe, kwa hiyo nitaachia hapa hadi siku nyingine.

Hata hivyo, subira na imani zinaendana pamoja — kama inavyosemwa kwenye huu wimbo niupendao sana kutoka kwenye tamthilia ya Broadway iitwayo In The Heights. Hii safari nzima ya kuanza kusomea udaktari imehitaji subira kwa kiwango ambacho sikutegemea: uvumilivu wa kufanya masomo ya maandalizi kwa miaka miwili, nikijua kuwa bado kuna miaka 4+ ya shule huko mbeleni. Kuwavumilia wale ambao hawaelewi matakwa ya huu wito; uvumilivu kwa wagonjwa wangu wanaouliza kwa nini bado sina watoto ingawa nimeolewa. Uvumilivu kwa huu mradi: hii blogu haijatimiza hata mwezi mmoja, lakini kuna nyakati ninahisi kukata tamaa, kama vile kwa kuwa bado sijapata majibu mengi basi haina thamani. Ninafahamu vema kuwa huu ni ukosefu tu wa kujiamini na ninaelewa kabisa (na kukubali!) kuwa haya mambo huchukua muda, ingawa inaonekana kama vile jitihada za wengine huzaa matunda mara tu waanzapo. Baada ya yote, kama ni mtu mmoja tu atakayenufaika kwa maandishi yangu basi nitakuwa nimefanikiwa sana.

Kwenye kujaribu kuwa na subira, tunaanza kuwa na mtazamo wa uthamini zaidi na wa shukrani. Katika haya maisha ya kisasa ya kutaka raha za papo hapo, inaweza kutuwia vigumu kuvuta subira. Lakini hata kwenye hizo nyakati za kutaka kuona matokeo upesi tunaweza kujifunza kitu, kwa mfano: kama umetumia dawa na inachukua muda mrefu kufanya kazi, huo muda bado ni mfupi sana kulingana na miaka iliyotumiwa kugundua na kutengeneza hiyo dawa. Huo wepesi wa kupata nafuu unadhihirisha miaka mingi ya utafiti, kazi ngumu, na uvunjikaji wa moyo — na uvumilivu. Kufikiria kwa namna hii kunafanya tushukuru uwepo wa hiyo dawa na kukubali mapungufu yake, badala ya kulalamika. Kuna mifano mingine mingi kama hii katika maisha yetu ya kila siku, tukichukua muda wa kutafakari. Nimekuwa nikijitahidi kufanya hivi nionapo ninaanza kushindwa kuvuta subira, na imenifanya niwe na moyo wa shukrani zaidi. Na wewe jaribu basi!

Sylvia

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