Proverb – American

“Good things come to those who wait.”

My informant first heard this phrase at the age of 14 when she first entered high school.  The transition from junior high to high school was very hard for her.  School became academically a lot harder for her.  She had a lot more work that she was not use to.  One day as she was complaining about studying, her parents told her the proverb of “Good things come to those who wait.”  They were trying to teach her to be patient and to just study and it will pay off in the end.  My informant interpreted this proverb as working hard will be rewarding in the end.

However, I think the meaning of this proverb is about learning the virtue of patience.  This proverb is straight forward in that it is saying a person will be rewarded if they are patient.  A person who is impatient will always want to rush things and will end up not waiting and appreciating things as they come.  For example, if there is a person who wants a car really bad but is patient and waits to get it will be more excited and happy when it eventually happens.  This proverb is used as a didactic method.  This proverb originated with the French and can be traced back to the early 1500’s.

Annotation: This proverb can be found in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, The Student’s tale.