More Light on the adage "The Patient Dog eats the Fattest Bone"

Proverbs and adages cut across cultures and every language has them, but only a few are more famous than “the patient dog eats the fattest bone”. It identifies the virtue of patience, claiming that it guarantees better returns. Whilst some believe this, others do not because they say that while the patient dog waits, the hustling dog can attack him and take all the bones.

Words and adages formed us, instructed, disciplined, and educated us. We use them to express our feelings and communicate, in a way through music or art, and when some truths are hard to express, proverbs and poetry do justice to them. In this article, we will address the importance of patience.


If you apply for a job, send in your CV, go for the interview, and do not get a response immediately. What do you do? You wait it out. Also, imagine you get pregnant today, and do not get your baby today. What do you do? You wait for nine months. Or even if you place a kettle of cold water on a heated stove, you still wait while it boils. The first point here is that sometimes waiting is not a choice but a necessity. In most both major and minor things we do every day, we tend to wait for them. So waiting may be tiring, but it is not in its entirety bad.

Again, majorly in Nigeria, after graduation from a secondary school, a young person is not guaranteed entrance into the next stage, which is a higher institution. There is usually a delay, either caused by penury or some other thing. So some people wait for one year or two years, others three years and above, worst still a graduate who leaves school and has no job after several years, sadly most people do nothing within this period. In this context, waiting clearly does not yield great results. But waiting is not the virtue, neither is it in the proverb. Patience is.

According to the English dictionary, “to wait” means to delay movement or actions, in other words, to do nothing. Whereas patience is associated with the state of your mind and actions while you wait.

Patience, therefore, is the virtue that brings a great return. So rather than just waiting around after graduation, do something, engage your mind, avoid getting resentful and blaming the universe.

Here are some things you can do while you wait depending on the type of delay:

Expecting a call for an interview
Study voraciously.
Invest in yourself.
Start a side business.
Keep applying for other jobs to increase your chances.
Pray hard.
Avoid dubious means.
Be positive.

Waiting for admission:
Learn a skill.
Master an instrument.
Keep reading.
Pray hard.
Stay positive.

Expecting a baby:
Eat healthily.
Sleep healthy.
Maintain your mental health.
Visit your doctor.
Pray harder.

Waiting for marriage:
Build your confidence.
Avoid destructive comparison.
Go out and socialize.
Be yourself.
Be valuable.
Pray the hardest.
Remain positive.

Waiting on a queue:
Focus on your turn.
Do not cut corners.
Be respectful.
Do not imagine evil thoughts for your neighbor or rain curses.
Avoid murmuring or hissing.
Calm your inner self.

Expecting a travel visa:
Apply rightly.
Avoid fraudulent behaviors.
Follow the process.
Be positive.

Just like the saying, “everything great takes time”, it is important to note that what you do during that time will determine what great thing you see.

So yes, the patient dog eats the fattest bone, provided you are making preparations and not just waiting around, for the fattest bone comes with the biggest responsibilities.

By Taiyelolu A

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