: the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry



Forbearance (n.): 1570s, originally legal, in reference to enforcement of debt obligations, from forbear (v.) + ance. General sense of “a refraining from” is from 1590s.

Forbear (v.): “to abstain,” Old English forberanbear up against, control one’s feelings, abstain from, refrain; tolerate, endure,” from for + beranto bear.” Of similar formation are Old High German ferberen, Gothic frabairanto endure.”




Forbearance is the root of quietness and assurance forever.”

Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 – 1616, born Matsudaira Takechiyo, also known as Matsudaira Motoyasu, the founder of the last shogun in Japan – the Tokugawa or Edo shogunate (1603-1867))

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“He thought of the virtues of courage and forbearance, which become flabby when there is nothing to use them on.”

John Steinbeck (1902-1968, author of 27 books, including 16 novels, best known, “East of Eden” and “Grapes of Wrath” and “Of Mice and Men,” six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories)

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“Conquer with forbearance
The excesses of insolence.”

Thiruvalluvar Kural (a classic Tamil sangam literature consisting of 1330 couplets, dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual)

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“I took note of the Buddha's teaching that in one sense a supposed enemy is more valuable than a friend, for an enemy teaches you things, such as forbearance, that a friend generally does not.”

Dalai Lama XIV (b. 1935, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk and the spiritual leader of Tibet)

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“And so, at the age of thirty, I had successively disgraced myself with three fine institutions, each of which had made me free of its full and rich resources, had trained me with skill and patience, and had show me nothing but forbearance and charity when I failed in trust.”

Simon Raven (1927-2001, known as a satiric novelist, who “provided a highly personalized, exceedingly hedonistic vision of the English upper classes”)

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“A good youth ought to have a fear of God, to be subject to his parents, to give honor to his elders, preserve his purity; he ought not to despise humility, but should love forbearance and modesty. All these are an ornament to youthful years.”

Saint Ambrose (337 AD – 397 AD, bishop of Milan, biblical critic, and initiator of ideas that provided a model for medieval conceptions of church-state relations; remembered as the teacher who converted and baptized St. Augustine of Hippo)

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“We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon wear of it and stop.”

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, lawyer, anti-war activist, leader of the Indian movement in British-ruled India)

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“I took note of the Buddha’s teaching that in one sense a supposed enemy is more valuable than a friend, for an enemy teaches you things, such as forbearance, that a friend generally does not.” — Dalai Lama XIV


It’s apparent that we are now on the cusp of a new beginning, a new cycle of change.  And like most new beginnings in this new millennium, this one for some of us may feel more unsettling.  A wave of mean-spiritedness has been unleashed in our nation and on our planet.  Now, we get to choose and to commit to the essence of what we are.  Are we spiritual warriors of divine love and compassion, or are we anarchists, bent on destroying and maiming each other for sport?

I’ve been privileged to have a professional career.  But, of all the many and different bosses I worked with, there were only a handful who were compassionate, honorable, protective, and kind.  I learned a lot from them, mainly how to create a healthy work ethic, but most importantly how be a compassionate leader and to treat others well.

Those more challenging directors, however, who tried to influenced from the shadows, but who ultimately transformed my life were the ones that were sometimes cruel and provoking.  Those men and women unknowingly kicked me off my fence of naiveté and forced me to dig down deep to the essential goodness for which I was created.  “God bless the souls that shook up mine.” (Memphis by The Milk Carton Kids)

Those “enemies” taught me to love them and to develop more compassion and kindness for myself and for my fellow man and woman, and to also recognize and empathize with others who may be also suffering in pain.  In those spiritual battles I had to choose the side of love and not the contrasting side of indifference, hate, and destructiveness.

That’s the path we are now on, collectively, especially at the end of a harrowing presidential election.  We must decide who we are as we move forward.  Do we want to build a new Earth of Unity Love, or do we want to get back on the merry-go-round of pain and misery?  We must decide and we must do it now.

Be the spiritual warriors you were born to be, sojourners, but do so with focused compassion and forbearance.

Written with Love, Tonya




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