This I Believe

Danielle - Tyrone, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: tolerance
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in patience. Like the saying goes, “Patience is a virtue.” It’s a character trait that few have, and many really need to have. Luckily, I’m one of those few. Over the years I’ve developed the ability to patiently wait. Whether it’s waiting in line, waiting in traffic, or waiting for some sort of change to occur in my life, I’ve learned how to cope without letting frustration get the best of me.

I realize that being patient is easier said than done. Believe me, I haven’t always been as patient as I am today. I used to think that it was appropriate to honk my horn, scream profanities, or even stick up my middle finger at the car in front of me if it hesitated for a second after the traffic light turned green. Crazy, I know. I guess in my mind I though that doing so would accomplish something.

It wasn’t until my first experience as a waitress that I truly understood the importance of patience. From the moment I began, people complained. Whether it was that their food was taking too long to cook or that they didn’t get their extra dressing fast enough, everything I did seemed to be wrong. Even if everything went well, someone at the table found something to complain about. After work ended that day, I went home discouraged. “Why are people so rude?” I asked my mom. “I was doing the best I could.” My mom looked at me and simply said “Well haven’t you done the same thing in the past?” As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. I was guilty of similar behavior on several occasions. At that moment, I believe that I changed for the better.

Today, I’m able to look at situations in a different light. For example, when I’m standing in line at the grocery store and the cashier is slow, I try to put myself in her shoes. Also, I try and ask myself whether or not complaining is really going to make a positive difference. The answer, of course, is no.

With my new found patience, I’ve found my life to be both happier and less stressful. By not allowing small things to frustrate me, I have more time to focus on the important things in life. I ask that next time you find yourself in a similar situation, you take a step back to ask yourself this same question. After all, as the saying goes, good things really do come to those who wait…patiently.