All Things Come to Those Who Wait

Meaning of “All Things Come to Those Who Wait”

The proverb “all things come to those who wait” means if people are persistent and patient, they will finally achieve their goal. In other words, it means a person must exercise patience exercise when working on something close to his heart, even to reach the goal he/she desires. The phrase is mostly used when encouraging someone to be patient and wait. Everything will ultimately come to him/her when he/she waits for it. The later version ‘good things come to those who wait’ is also widely used in the UK.

Origin of “All Things Come to Those Who Wait”

The proverb “all things come to those who wait” originated from a poem by Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie, who used to write under her pseudonym, Violet Fane. The phrase first appeared in her poem Tout vient a qui sait attendre in the same words. The poem was published at the beginning of the twentieth century. Other than this, there are no written references regarding the proverb’s origin.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Tout vient a qui sait attendre by Violet Fane

All hoped-for things will come to you
Who have the strength to watch and wait,
Our longings spur the steeds of Fate,
This has been said by one who knew.

‘Ah, all things come to those who wait,’
(I say these words to make me glad),
But something answers soft and sad,
‘They come, but often come too late.’

Lady Montgomery or Violet Fane uses the phrase in French. It means ‘Everything comes to who knows how to wait’. The poet talks about the strength to be patient and be hopeful. If a person is persistent and patient, everything that he/she wishes ultimately comes. However, the poet also tells us that there are several things that take time to come. The use of this proverb appears in the first verse of the second stanza, highlighting the importance of patience and persistence in life.

Example #2

 i am Enough! by Samima Shah Faheem

 When people get abusive someway
Are spreading hostility and hate
Harness your emotions, control your state
Indulge neither in discussion, nor debate
Leave certain things to God and fate
Good things come to those who wait.

Spiteful words and double meaning talks
Backbiting and spying so difficult to tolerate
On encounters, they always negate
Cash in your patience, better to collate
Time will answer such foul mates
Good things come to those who wait

Patience is a virtue
Some learn, others have innate
Whether it present or future state
Gratification delays makes one Great
Tame your energies, stay steady and sedate
Good things come to those who wait.

Here the poet has replaced the word “all” with “good”. However, the meaning of the phrase remains the same. It shows the importance of patience and persistence. It is clear that by waiting, a person can get good things in life. In the third stanza, the poet highlights the quality of patience and mentions that it is a great virtue. The proverb has been transformed into a refrain at the end of each stanza.

Example #3

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait by Nathan Sykes

That’s why I take my time
Take as long as I got
Won’t pretend to be somebody I’m not, no
Good things come to those who wait
I’m not perfect, nobody is
Could fill an ocean of blood sweat and tears, yeah
Good things come to those who wait

The song is about being true to ourselves and also the virtue of persistence and wait. The proverb has been used with the replacement word ‘good’ instead of ‘all’. It has been repeated twice in this stanza. The meanings of the proverb are self-explanatory. When people wait for the good things to happen will eventually get them even if they are delayed.

Example #4 

The Story of a Cavalry Regiment by Thomas West Smith

 “There was no room for anyone to stand in the stage, and Col. Pratt, who was sitting by me on the back seat, said, “Neighbor, if you will hold one of the girls I’ll take the other.” The girls promptly accepted our offer to take them on our laps, and when all were ready we got under way again. Now, as it is well known, there was a lack of woman’s society in the cavalry, and perhaps this scarcity of petticoats in the service made me particularly gallant to the ladies, and at first it seemed pleasant to have a plump, rosy-cheeked maiden nestled comfortably in my lap, and for a while I enjoyed the novel sensation. But as we journeyed along the old coach pitched in the gullies and jolted over stony roads, the hours grew long and the girl got heavier, and, shift the burden as I might. I bitterly regretted the gallantry of the morning. “All things come to those who wait.”

The story is about the first cavalry regiment and the “Scott’s 900” during the war times. In this paragraph, the narrator on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. During their travel, they don’t have enough space to accommodate all the passengers, especially women. Upon Col. Pratt’s advice, they agreed to let the girls/women to sit on their lap. The narrator chooses a heavy girl and later regrets it. The proverb is used with a sarcastic tone and in the opposite sense of the literal meaning.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1:  “If you put a lot of chemicals in the pot to grow a plant, you will not get good flowers. Don’t you know all things come to those who wait?”

Example #2: “All things come to those who wait – said the math teacher while writing a formula on the whiteboard. He turned around and continued – I mean to be patient when you are trying to get the solution.”

Example #3: “This is the longest winter in ten years, but all good things come to those who wait, thought Janet. I can’t wait for the spring she wrote in the diary.”

Example #4: “Before you kick the ball towards the goal post; watch the goalkeeper and be patient. Remember, all things come to those who wait.”

Example #5: “I don’t want to wait so long because I don’t believe in all things come to those who wait. Sometimes, we just have to go and get it.”