By Shae Hadden | Bio

While waiting for the results of the U.S. presidential election to come in, I was musing on what patience is and how valuable it will be in the days ahead. Patience is the ability to endure without complaint, to persevere when things get rough, to tolerate without annoyance or provocation. Being patient is one way of relating to our circumstances and to time that allows us to avoid being victims. The way of patience is the way of surrender and trust—surrender to ‘what is’ and trust that our intentions will unfold in time.

The American people have patiently endured this months-long campaign…and, for the most part, have not been upset or annoyed with the slow playing out of their democratic process. Even though an urgent call for change echoes throughout both parties’ campaigns, the people’s commitment to democracy has allowed the political process to come to its own conclusion in its own time (without revolution). What awaits Americans next is to face their desperate need for unreasonable choices and actions on the part of their leaders without putting aside their ability to be patient.

Investing in the long-term seems to be prudent advice during these times. Will the American people surrender to their current situation and trust their new leader to truly and completely reorient the nation toward investing in its intellectual capital, its people, its resources and the environment? Obama has been left with perhaps the most challenging situation to ever face an American president. He will certainly have to demonstrate his ability to persevere calmly as he faces the country’s myriad difficulties. And he will have to enroll all citizens of the United States to be patient as well and to tolerate changes—adjustments to the ‘way it is’ that may be for the greater good—that may annoy or provoke them.

I believe in the possibility that this man stands for: a future in which the United States are ‘united’ once again, in which its citizens pull together under a common vision and in which the principles of responsibility, accountability and sustainability allow every citizen to fulfill their full potential as human beings.

Here’s to shifting our daily conversations away from election trivia and the constant drumbeat of negative news to ‘what’s missing?’ for this vision to be reality.

© 2008 Shae Hadden. All rights reserved.