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Proverb Challenge – A Compilation

Proverb Challenge – A Compilation

Here is a collection of proverbs from this month’s challenge – most recent submission are at the top.

All are welcome to participate in the Proverb Challenge. Here are the entries we have received thus far…

#14: This next one could be from YOU – send us your proverb of choice…

#13. Dr. N Roy writes:

When an elephant walks through the marketplace the dogs bark wildly while the elephant remains unperturbed.

Meaning: When you take a serious decision in life, be of firm mind and stand by it, unaffected by outside opinions and naysayers etc.

#12: Audrey shares another one:

Come what come may, time and the hour runs the roughest day. (MacBeth)

Comment: This is my favorite quote from Shakespeare which I use instead of the better known “this too shall pass.”

#11 Audrey writes us:

Perfect is the enemy of the good.

Meaning: I learned this from my former boss. I didn’t like it at first, but it has really grown on me, and now I use it! There’s a whole Wikipedia entry about it, attributing its origins to Voltaire:

#10: Kirk shares not one proverb, but three:

He who hesitates is lost.  – Cato/ Joseph Addison, (1713)
Look before you leap. – MS  Douce 88 (illuminated manuscript), (1350)
Better slip with foot than tongue. –  Ben Franklin, (1734)

#9: Narayan (U.P. India) write us:

A snake inside the home is more dangerous than a snake in the grass.

Meaning: A bad element in your inner circle is far more dangerous than a born enemy that is kept at bay.

#9: Nancy offers this: 

Write your sorrows in sand and your blessings in stone ~ old Gaelic saying

#8: Sandra writes us: 

There’s no accounting for taste. That’s what the lady said when she kissed the cow.
(According to my grandmother Florence Martin)

Meaning: I have requested Sandra to write a few words about this. Kindly check back on this…

#7: Satyam shares this:

You have the right to the action, but not to the fruit of the action

Meaning: This comes to mind after reading Birgit’s below proverb. This teaching from the great yogi Sri Krsna guides us that as humans we can only choose to act, we are not due the glory, rewards, benefits, or reaction of the action. The result of any deed is not in our hands. Only we have the right to take action.

#6: Birgit writes us:

As you sow, so shall you reap


What goes around comes around

Satyam’s Comment: This is interesting as it is related with samskara theory or action / reaction theory in yoga.

#5: Mary writes us:

Your spine is your lifeline…and you are only as young as your spine is flexible.

Note: When Mary shared this with us in class then a few of us posed the antithesis: “Your spine is your lifeline…and you are only as old as your spine is stiff.”

#4: Singh ji shares this with us:

Question: How do you make a happy man sad, and a sad man happy?

Answer: Tell them that this day will not last forever.

Meaning: Everything of this material world is transitory. What is gained today is lost tomorrow and vice-versa. The only way to achieve lasting happiness and go beyond all sorrow is to delve inwards towards the eternal abode that lies within. Then only can one attain a state of true peace.

#3: Suprakash (of India) writes us:

For good health, drink your food and chew your drink

Meaning: This is an ayurvedic proverb about good digestive health. Digestion starts in the mouth with the saliva. “Drink your food” means that one should chew the food so thoroughly that it can be swallowed like a liquid. And “chew your drink” means that one should chew the fluid intake so that it took gets mixed with saliva. That is a key point of proper digestion and health.

#2:  Manoranjan (of India) shares this:

It is better to have a one-eyed maternal uncle than no maternal uncle at all.

Meaning: Here in India, a maternal uncle is a wonderful member of the extended family because the maternal uncle will only love and shower gifts on his nieces and nephews. He will never scold or discipline – just he will be the essence of kindness and joy. So everyone wants to have maximum maternal uncles!!

#1: Jean shares this with us: 

This saying comes from Albert Einstein. According to the story, in 1922, a courier delivered a message to Einstein and at the time Einstein didn’t have any money for a tip. Instead he wrote down this piece of life advice:

A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.

Note: Here is a more of the story about the above mentioned incident.


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