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When the weather turns very cold we usually have the good sense to bundle up before we go out.

But when one of life’s “cold spells” hits we sometimes find ourselves feeling unprotected, even shocked.

Someone lets us down…(or we let someone down)…stress builds up at work…we get hurt…we get some bad medical news…failure strikes…or the headlines all seem bad…and it can feel like we’ve taken the Polar Bear Plunge!

Now some people like the Polar Bear Plunge but I have to confess, I’m not one of them. I’m looking for comfort, for warmth, for protection.

Leonardo da Vinci saw his share of “cold spells” in life, and he believed the best protection is patience.

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”

Patience is “the will or ability to wait and endure without complaint…[or] steadiness, endurance, perseverance in the performance of a task.”

 It’s a quiet word, but a strong, powerful word.

The word “patience” has the same root as the word “passion.” It is a kind of passion in slow motion…a kind of cool, quiet passion…a passion that puts time on your side…passion that steps back and looks at the big picture…passion that doesn’t overreact but tries to understand…a passion that is willing to keep looking and working for the best even in life’s cold weather.

With the world being the way it is—and with humans being, well, human—maybe we should all bundle up and be a little more patient with each other.

Camus wrote:

“In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me an invincible summer.”

When we patiently work for the best, it’s like having “an invincible summer inside” even in the midst of winter.