"Patience is a virtue" is a saying I heard many times growing up, usually from my grandmother. As a child I wondered why waiting is a virtue.

Here is a definition of patience: "Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion."

We live in an instant society. Do we even teach our children patience anymore? We have ATMs to do our banking, online grocery shopping with home delivery, microwaves in which to cook our food, and my personal favorite, instant coffee makers like my Keurig.

We are impatient and want instant results. I count myself as one who is impatient.

Unfortunately, one of the many reasons that so many Americans are in debt is because they won't save money for the latest gadget. Instead they put it on their credit card.

Many times the gadget has broken or is no longer relevant and we are still paying for it. We need to get out of this habit and make the hard decision as to whether this item is truly needed or not. Let's quit being victims of slick marketing.

I enjoy progress, yet it astounds me as to how long a new home or building takes to complete — many months. I'd love to see several new restaurants come to Crestview, but this process takes time: acquisition of land; issuance of permits; needed studies completed and then the actual building of the structure. I'd welcome an Olive Garden, Chili's, Longhorn, Marie Callender's or Golden Corral in Crestview tomorrow, but it's not going to happen overnight.

We do ourselves and children no favors by wanting everything instantly, as patience develops character. Character is defined as "distinguished or good qualities; those which are esteemed and respected."

Our character is developed by waiting, whether it is for a short-term goal like a treat, or a long-term goal such as losing weight, buying a house or a new car.

We learn valuable lessons about saving for a rainy day and finding out that our "need" of the moment was a want, and saving money is a satisfying goal.

Developing patience will help us endure the hardships we encounter in life much more easily, and as we have seen with the recent hurricanes, hardships do occur.

How we approach hardships in our lives reveals our character.

Grandmother was correct.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.