~ The Universal Wisdom of Proverbs ~
A proverb is a popular saying, expressing a commonly held truth... the treasures of everyday wisdom. Sometimes we don't know who originated them but they are nevertheless widely remembered and repeated. They often contain an insightful metaphor that makes a point quickly and effectively. Here are some of the best known proverbs plus brief commentary...
Nothing can stop you if you really want it.
There's a price to pay for achievement, in terms of effort, stress, setbacks... but it's worth it.
After it starts to cool down, it's no longer malleable, it's too late. Don't miss your opportunity.
Too late when it's raining... again, take advantage of the opportunity.
We are all connected, there's little we can achieve on our own, we need help and the talents of others.
We learn from discussions and conflicts, with the potential of empowering outcomes.
Happiness and fulfillment bring about less stress and therefore good health, depression quite the opposite.
If we take responsibility for our wrongdoings and make amends then we deserve forgiveness.
Arrogance will quickly lose us the support of others.
We do better too respond mindfully than react in fear, but respond from our true caring self, not the greedy and envious ego.
It's called integrity. The alternative is hypocrisy.
We are each unique with something special to offer, and complementary skills.
Offering a clearcut truth attracts attention, gives credibility and effectively distracts from the rest of what's said, that then doesn't get scrutinized properly.
When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.
You're you - deserving of respect and care. But doesn't that go the other way too?
Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.
If you want to fit in then behave like the others around you. Or not.
If you keep quiet and wait patiently, chance is no one's going to help you.
Strong people don't give up when they come across challenges. Instead they're inspired - they dig in and work even harder.
You can't live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people.
People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.
Don't criticize other people if you're not perfect yourself. And even then...
Things might go wrong, so be prepared.
It's best to do something on time. But if you can't do it on time, do it late.
People like to spend time with others who are similar to them.
If you have an enemy, pretend to be friends with them instead of openly fighting with them. That way you can watch them carefully and figure out what they're planning.
Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations.
Things that are offered for free often have a hidden cost.
Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.
Sometimes it's important to know when to get out, instead of maybe getting hurt.
The first in line gets the opportunities.
If someone offers you a gift, just accept it.
Don't just wait for good things to happen to you; work hard to achieve your goals.
Sometimes things don't work out; accept it.
Keeping yourself clean is a sign of respect and caring - high values.
Time passes slowly when you're watching the clock - better get on and do something else.
If you're asking for a favor from someone else, you'd better accept what they give you.
Just saying that you agree doesn't mean that much. Actually getting on and doing it is much more meaningful.
Don't try to improve something that already works fairly well - you'll likely cause new problems.
You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.
When too many people try to lead and give their opinions, it can lead to chaos.
When you receive money too easily, such as by inheriting it, you're likely not to value it and spend it too quickly.
If someone's paying you or helping you out, best to be kind to them.
You can't keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop. For every up there's a down.
Rather than trying to persuade someone else, it might be easier just to be like them. Easier but not necessarily better in the long run.
Different people have different ideas about what's valuable.
If you need to do something, don't wait until later. Do it now.
People have very different taste.
When you're really desperate, you'll come up with a creative solution to your problem.
Saving money is effectively making money.
When you're around someone for too long, you start taking their good points for granted and notice annoying things.
Be patient, eventually things will turn around.
Have a backup plan. Spread your risks.
People have complementary skills and ideas.
People tend to want whatever they don't have.
Otherwise you're a hypocrite. This is a golden rule.
If one member of a team doesn't perform up to standard, they can let everyone else down.
To lie may seem easier but it will come back to bite you.
When you're separated, you remember and value things that you took for granted before.
You can't force someone to accept your help.
Don't celebrate prematurely, things may not work out quite as expected.
best to do things yourself if you need to control the quality of the results.
A person who's not so clever can sometimes be correct by accident.
If someone helps you when you're in trouble, that person is a true friend.
When a person knows a little bit they may feel like an expert and then go on to make a mess of things.
There may be a long path ahead but the only way you'll can possibly achieve your goal is by getting down to it and making a start.
Being too single-minded can make you a boring person.
Best to take precautions than being reckless.l
Best to stick with someone familiar than an unknown quantity; at least you know what you're getting. Though that may prove shortsighted.
We may not understand another person if we haven't had the same experiences.
Do things in the appropriate order; don't act prematurely.
You shouldn't brag about your expertise if you can't do it well in practice.
Discriminate between what's useful and not; don't be too quick to throw everything out.
Good sleep and an early start tend to go with success.
There's usually something good associated with any bad experience, that you can then make the most of.
The best assistance is to help someone be self-sufficient.
When you try to work too quickly, you're more likely to make mistakes.
It's easy to be wise in retrospect, not so easy at the time.
Truth is usually simple, if well understood.
Keep on trying to succeed, even if you fail at first. Failures always occur on the path to success, that's how we learn and improve. But on the other hand, "There's no use in flogging a dead horse," when it's time to recognize there's no longer any hope.
Unhelpful criticism is no good for anyone.
This is saying, take a stand for what you think is right. Being neutral is not helpful at all.
It's done, getting upset about it helps no-one.
Someone who has many different skills is not necessarily expert at any of them.
It certainly helps!
If you associate with dishonest people, it won't do you any good at all.
Don't make a decision without considering it carefully. There's a contradictory proverb: "He who hesitates is lost." Sometimes there's no choice, an immediate decision is essential.
Be aware - with some decisions, once enacted it's too late to change your mind.
People who are depressed may prefer it if those around them share their feelings.
If you have a job that you need to do, best to get on and do it now. Later may never arrive.
When people get in power, their ego has a tendency to take over, resulting in mean, greedy and dishonest actions.
Be patient; doing important work takes time.
Conserve your energy so you can keep going strong right through to the end.
Might be a whole lot more to somebody than you'd think.
When you have a good opportunity, go for it.
Children tend to have similar qualities to their parents
Simply wanting to do the right thing isn't enough; you have to actually do it. Otherwise nothing is accomplished.
Of course, men appreciate good food. So do women, come to that.
All publicity promotes a name. That name is then remembered and the 'bad' part forgotten.
When wages have to be paid, and significant delays are caused.
Harder to be intimate with a third person around.
The results of your actions return to you eventually.
Nothing can continue in one direction forever, natural forces take over. Life is cyclic.
To get what you want, be nice to people. Don't yell at them or be mean.
This is rather negative: that you can't have everything you want in life. Of course, if you've eaten your cake you no longer have it. But there's not much point having a cake if you can't eat it! Except perhaps to share.
Older people don't change their habits easily; but if they really want to they can - an opposite proverb is "You're never too old to learn."
Your actions have consequences. When you do good things, that's reflected back to you. When you do bad things, misfortune happens in return.
Agree terms and conditions before starting a job, afterwards is too late.
Hide it away and hopefully no-one will remember.
Change and new activities make life unpredictable and interesting. The apparently conflicting proverb, "Don't change horses in midstream" refers to making a change at an inappropriate time, when it's unsafe to do so.
of course, any new skill has to be practiced or it will be left behind. What you don't use you lose.
Repair something before the damage gets worse.
A hasty action can land you in deep waters, whereas further consideration might lead in a safer or better direction.
Don't be distracted by a possible obstacle that may or may not come about.
Never mind all the difficulties, we arrived!
Highly unlikely to happen.
Appearances can be deceptive. An opposite proverb is "Clothes make the man," though again, not necessarily.
Two situations where we may feel that the usual rules do not apply; fair or not, we'll do what we have to.
Might be an unfortunate collision with a wall. A bad start to the day.
One way or another, whatever it takes.
Whatever you create will depend upon the resources you are using. Only try to do things of which you are capable.
The old ways are likely to be the best. Not necessarily though of course.
The secret is out.
Discuss your problems with someone and then the two of you are more likely to come up with a solution.
People who talk a lot are not always so wise as they think.
Thoughtful people tend to come up with similar answers, since they are both looking intelligently at the same situation.
Thinking of such as an engagement ring, perhaps, or babies. "The bigger, the better," perhaps not as wise.
You see opportunities everywhere except where you are at present.
Be careful not to throw away good things when doing a clear-out.
If you help me, I’ll help you.
There's more to a person than their superficial appearance.
Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.
A needy person should accept what is offered without being fussy.
From experience, we learn to avoid situations that cause trouble or distress.
One person in every family lets the others down.
Something harmful done in revenge or punishment is no better than the original bad action.
Family relationships are stronger than most others.
Be grateful for what you receive. Better to be hungry than starving.
Not hitting the target gets you nothing at all.
You can’t accomplish something without the necessary resources.
It's useless explaining to those who do not want to understand.