Character Chats

How do we take turns and wait for the right time?

How do we take turns and wait for the right time?

Our True Character word of the month is patience. Patience means waiting without complaining for something you want or you need.

In the last article we started talking about patience. We talked about patience and when we need to use it — how we show patience at school, here in class, out in the community — and why it’s important to show patience.

This week we’re going to talk a little bit about waiting our turn.

Waiting for our time

A big part of patience is waiting for our time to do something. While we’re waiting in a line, like when we come up to a cash register at a grocery store and there are a couple of people in line, we wait our turn.

You have to wait your turn when you ask a question in class. Sometimes you’re working and the teacher has to help several people in class. You need to wait your turn for the teacher; everyone deserves help.

You have to wait your turn to get a vaccine. Everyone would like to get one and end all this stuff we’re going through right now. But you know what? We have to wait our turn.

We put it in an order that some of the people who need it the most or come in contact with the most people get the vaccine first. So the rest of us are waiting our turns for our vaccine.

There are lots of places we have to wait our turn.

Importance of waiting

Now, why is this important? Why is it important to wait for our turn?

How does it make you feel if you’re waiting and somebody cuts in line in front of you? You don’t like it very much, right?

What does that say about a person’s character — somebody who is willing to just run in front of everybody? It seems to us like they only care about themselves. It seems to us like they’re a little bit selfish.

Maybe their character isn’t that good. Maybe their inner strength isn’t very strong either.

Waiting your turn is an important part of being a good person. It’s an important part of being a confident person.

Do it at the right time

Sometimes we can wait our turn, but we have to wait for the right time.

Let’s say you need help from Mom or Dad, and mom or dad are on a work Zoom call. When they’re in the middle of the Zoom call, is it the right time to interrupt them for a little help on your homework?


Waiting for the right time might be waiting for the five minutes until they’re off the call, when they told you they were going to help you with it in the first place.

Now, if there’s an emergency, is waiting for the right time the right thing?

Well, if there’s an emergency, the right time is now. For example, let’s say Mom and Dad are on that Zoom call and it’s not that you need help with the homework — it’s that the toilet is going in the wrong direction.

You hit flush and the water is going out of it and pouring across the house. You come running up to Mom and Dad, and they say, “Hey, wait for the right time.”

“Okay, I’ll come back later.”

Well, no, if there’s an emergency and the toilet’s going the wrong way, the right time is now!

If you need to tell Mom and Dad about something funny the dog just did, the right time might be later.

Finding the right time at school

We have to wait for the right time at school with our teachers as well.

Sometimes it’s time to talk about our day. Sometimes it’s time to ask questions.

If you’re in Math class, should you ask questions about English? That’s not the right time. The teacher wants you to ask questions about English, but in Math it’s not the right time for it.

Now, what if you’re in school and you feel like you’re going to be sick? Is it the right time to interrupt the teacher?


If you feel like you’re going to be sick, anytime is the right time to interrupt the teacher. “Excuse me?” “Could you wait a second?” “I think I’m going to be sick.” “Okay. Right now, go out to the nurse’s office.”

It’s always the right time if there’s an emergency, especially if things go the wrong direction.

Show good character

So, a big part of our patience is waiting your turn.

Show that awesome, powerful character by waiting your turn, not cutting in front of people in line.

Show that patience by waiting for the right time. Understand that that story about your friend spitting the gum out of his mouth and landing on his shoe is not an emergency that you need to interrupt something that somebody is doing.

On the other hand: falling. Your little brother fell and cracked their head open. That’s probably the time, the right time, to interrupt Mom and Dad.

Show some patience, waiting in turn and waiting for the right time. Now that shows the True Character of a black belt.

Thanks. And we will see everybody on the mat.
–Master Helsdon