Word of 2021: Patient

Josh Elman
2 min readDec 31, 2021

Adjective: bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.

Noun: a person who is under medical care or treatment.

(Source: dictionary.com)

Thinking back to the beginning of 2021, no one wanted to be patient, or a patient. We had been sitting around 2020 in the swirl of a pandemic, a stock market yo-yo, a political roller coaster with the election of Trump and Biden.

By the beginning of 2021, I felt everyone wanted to move on fast. Well except for the beginning of the year Jan 6 when some people wanted things to stay the same and we had that awful moment at the Capitol.

2021 was supposed to be the year everything got back to normal. The vaccines were going to come out, the pandemic was going to fade, we could all return to the office except those who wanted to just work from home forever.

But it hasn’t happened that way. We’ve had to all be patient. And sadly, too many were patients of the noun variety. While we talk about survival rates, I know a few too many who lost close family and friends due to COVID which makes all the stats and “risk” much more real.

You can see the impatience in people wanting to get rich fast too this year. First there was the GameStop and other meme stocks. And then crypto and NFTs and no one wants to be patient to get rich slowly when you can make millions over night buying the right cartoon image before someone else wants it.

Parents have had to be patient all year waiting for their kids to get vaccines, lest they risk their kids become patients. Though fortunately for many, schools reopened at least more or less, with masking etc.

But we end the year similar to how it started. Confusion. Patience. Impatience. Is Omicron going to blow through fast (I sure hope so!) because I am impatient to get back to the real world being much more the real world we had before.

This is going to be a giant imprint on the entire generation. I don’t think the world has gone through anything together like this since the Great Depression and global wars. Those generations were permanently changed. Ours will be too. Whenever someone sneezes near you, it might feel like a mini bomb went off. Certainly will affect our kids forever.

Given that everyone else is going through the same ups and downs and traumas of the past two years, the best thing we can do is be patient with anyone we meet. Be forgiving. And take just enough precautions that we don’t turn others into patients.



Josh Elman

I love building products that people use. I‘ve helped build Twitter, Facebook Connect, LinkedIn, Robinhood. Investor in Medium, Tiktok/Musical.ly, Discord