Kober: It Means God of Patience


Greetings to a great new year!

On a trip to Clearwater Beach, we ended up in a comedy of errors trying to get everything we needed into the car and on our way to the shore. I ended up going up and down our hotel elevator and back and forth to our room several times while my daughter, son and his wife waited in the car. My son is blessed with many gifts, but like his father, you might not think patience is at the top of the list. By the time I finally reached the car and we were set to go, I was exasperated by the time it had taken.

Meanwhile, our daughter was talking to our daughter-in-law in the car about her fish. She had named the little guy Mars Ares Kober. She had looked it up and found that Mars and Ares mean “God of war” in the Roman and the Greek. I knew that the meaning to the word Kober is basket or hamper—I assume we came from basket makers at some point. Since she had taken the time to identify the meaning of the words Mars and Ares, I had wondered if she had looked up the meaning for the word Kober. So, I asked her: “What does the word Kober signify?” Madison answered baskets or weaving. But Cameron interjected and stated:

“Kober stands for, “God of Patience”.

Given our mishaps and frustrations of the moment, I couldn’t help but laugh. But I liked the title. It certainly is much grander than saying “God of Baskets.” So I now declare that Kober means “God of Patience.”

You might think that you can’t just say that a word means something, when it doesn’t. But I’m not a basket weaver—and yet I’ve ended up with this name. Nor does anyone think of baskets when they think of me. Of course, they don’t think of patience either. Clearly, saying it and living it are two different things.

If you were to describe me, I would say that I’m more about passion than patience, which I can easily dismiss as being almost the opposite in my mind to being patient. But to quote Mark Z. Danielewski:

“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”

Perhaps why I’m not more patient is that I feel that it means I have to sit around and do nothing, or worse, put up with what others do. But patience is really not so much about putting up. Elif Shafak wrote:

“Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.”

I do believe I’m passionate. And I believe my passion has allowed me with time and faith to accomplish certain things. So maybe I’m a little more patient than I give myself credit. Later on I told my son Cameron, I want my epitaph to read, “God of Patience.” I hope when people read such, they won’t laugh too hard. More importantly, I hope they read passion within that statement.

Here’s to a new year, and to whatever patience can provide in abundance to you.

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