Proverbs

Proverb

Proverbs

A proverb is a brief, simple, and popular saying, or a phrase that gives advice and effectively embodies a commonplace truth practical experience or common sense. A proverb may have an allegorical message behind its odd appearance. The reason of popularity is due to its usage in spoken language, as well as in folk literature.

Some authors twist and bend proverbs, and create anti-proverbs to add literary effect to their works. However, in poetry, poets use proverbs strategically by employing some parts of them in poems’ titles, such as Lord Kennet has done in his poem, A Bird in the Bush, which is a popular proverb. Some poems contain multiple proverbs, Paul Muldoon’s poem Symposium.

Use of Popular Proverbs in Everyday Speech

  • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  • All that glitters is not gold.
  • An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
  • The old horse in the stable still yearns to run .

Example #1: Things Fall Apart (By Chinua Achebe)

“If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings.”

Meaning: If you remove the dirt of your ancestors, you can have a better future. Everyone can build his or her own fame.

“A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.”

Meaning: Everything happens for a reason, and for something, not for nothingness.

“A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm.”

Meaning: Children who obey their mothers are not punished.

Example #2: Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)

“The weakest goes to the wall.”

Meaning: Weak people are never favored.

“He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.”

Meaning: A man who loses his eyesight can never forget the importance of lost eyesight.

“One fire burns out another’s burning,
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish.”

Meaning: You can burn new fire from lighting another fire, similarly a new pain could mitigate your old pain.

Example #3: Book of Proverbs (from The Bible)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

Meaning: Wise men always fear the Lord, while fools do not wisdom and guidance.

“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)

Meaning: The things God says are never flawed. He protects the people who ask for His help, and who follow His path.

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Meaning: Do whatever you do for the Lord, putting faith in Him, and he will guide your plans and actions.

Example #4: The Power and the Glory (By Graham Greene)

“And when we love our sin then we are damned indeed.”

Meaning: When we do not repent of our sins, rather loving them, then we are damned.

“Nothing in life was as ugly as death.”

Meaning: Death is the most horrible experience in life.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in …We should be thankful we cannot see the horrors and degradations lying around our childhood, in cupboards and bookshelves, everywhere.”

Meaning: Childhood is a blessing for us, as we do not face horrible experiences humiliation and degradation from people.

Example #5: Aesop Fables: An Astrologer and A Traveller (By Aesop)

Fortune Teller:
“We should make sure that our own house is in order before we give advice to others.”

Meaning: We should act upon our own words, before advising others to do the same.

Function of Proverb

Proverbs play very important roles in different types of literary works. The most important function of proverbs is to teach and educate the audience.

They often contain expert advice, with a role for educating the readers on what they may face if they do something. Hence, proverbs play a didactic role, as they play a universal role in teaching wisdom and sagacity to the common people.

Since proverbs are usually metaphorical and indirect, they allow writers to express their messages in a less harsh way.

Источник: https://literarydevices.net/proverb/

Learn English Speaking & Grammar Natives with PhraseMix

Proverbs

Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called “proverbs”.

How can you use proverbs to learn English?

It's good to know the really common English proverbs because you hear them come up in conversation all the time. Sometimes people say the entire proverb to give advice to a friend. More often, someone will say just part of a proverb this:

You know what they say: when the going gets tough…

(Read #5 below to learn the rest of this proverb and what it means.)

Learning proverbs can also help you to understand the way that people in English-speaking cultures think about the world.

Proverbs can also give you good example sentences which you can memorize and use as models for building your own sentences.

The most important English Proverbs

This is a list of some of the most important and well-known English proverbs. Below each one, there's a simple explanation.

The meanings of some of these phrases have shifted over the years, so a proverb might have originally had a different meaning than the one I explain.

  1.  Tweet This! When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.
  2.  Tweet This! Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.
  3.  Tweet This! Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you're traveling abroad notice that people do things differently than you're used to.
  4.  Tweet This! You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one's going to help you.
  5.  Tweet This! Strong people don't give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.
  6.  Tweet This! You can't live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people.
  7.  Tweet This! People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.
  8.  Tweet This! Don't criticize other people if you're not perfect yourself.
  9.  Tweet This! Bad things might happen, so be prepared.
  10.  Tweet This! It's best to do something on time. But if you can't do it on time, do it late.
  11.  Tweet This! People to spend time with others who are similar to them.
  12.  Tweet This! 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.
  13.  Tweet This! Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations. That's why PhraseMix has illustrations 🙂
  14.  Tweet This! Things that are offered for free always have a hidden cost.
  15.  Tweet This! Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.
  16.  Tweet This! Sometimes it's important to know when to give up and run away, instead of always acting brave and maybe getting hurt.
  17.  Tweet This! You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed.
  18.  Tweet This! If someone offers you a gift, don't question it.
  19.  Tweet This! When you try to do something great, you'll probably make a few people annoyed or angry. Don't worry about those people; just focus on the good results.
  20.  Tweet This! Don't just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to achieve your goals.
  21.  Tweet This! Don't whine and complain if you don't get what you wanted.
  22.  Tweet This! Be clean. God s that.
  23.  Tweet This! If something takes time to finish, don't watch it too closely because it will seem it's taking forever.
  24.  Tweet This! If you're asking for a favor from someone else, you have to take whatever they give you.
  25.  Tweet This! Just saying that you'll do something doesn't mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.
  26.  Tweet This! Don't try to improve something that already works fairly well. You'll probably end up causing new problems.
  27.  Tweet This! You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.
  28.  Tweet This! When there are too many people trying to lead and give their opinions, it's confusing and leads to bad results. Jobs and projects should have one or two strong leaders.
  29.  Tweet This! When you get money quickly, by winning it, it's easy to spend it or lose it quickly as well.
  30.  Tweet This! If someone's paying you or helping you out, you have to be careful not to make them angry or say bad things about them.
  31.  Tweet This! You can't keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop.
  32.  Tweet This! When you try to change someone's behavior and it doesn't work, you might have to change instead. For example, if you're trying to get your classmates to focus on studying but they want to party, maybe you should just party with them.
  33.  Tweet This! Different people have different ideas about what's valuable.
  34.  Tweet This! If you need to do something, don't wait until later. Do it now.
  35.  Tweet This! Different people have different ideas about what's beautiful.
  36.  Tweet This! When you're really in need, you think of creative solutions to your problems.
  37.  Tweet This! Save your money. Saving money is just making money.
  38.  Tweet This! When you're around someone for too long, you get tired of them and annoyed by them.
  39.  Tweet This! Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.
  40.  Tweet This! Be patient. Eventually something good will happen to you.
  41.  Tweet This! Have a backup plan. Don't risk all of your money or time in one plan.
  42.  Tweet This! When two people cooperate with each other, they come up with better ideas.
  43.  Tweet This! People tend to want whatever they don't have.
  44.  Tweet This! Don't do mean things to people.
  45.  Tweet This! If one member of a team doesn't perform well, the whole team will fail.
  46.  Tweet This! Don't lie.
  47.  Tweet This! Sometimes it's good to be away from your partner, because it makes you want to see each other again.
  48.  Tweet This! If you try to help someone, but they don't take your advice or offers, give up. You can't force someone to accept your help.
  49.  Tweet This! Your plans might not work out, so don't start thinking about what you'll do after you succeed. Wait until you've already succeeded, and then you can think about what to do next.
  50.  Tweet This! Don't trust other people to do important things for you. You have to do things yourself to control the quality of the results.

  Print this List

Источник: https://www.phrasemix.com/articles/the-50-most-important-english-proverbs

Proverbs and Sayings

Proverbs

Welcome to these Old English, Ancient Chinese, Yiddish, and Modern Proverbs and Sayings about Life and Love.

  • Proverbs and Sayings about Life
  • Ancient Chinese Proverbs
  • Yiddish Proverbs

Anger is a thorn in the heart.
– Yiddish Proverb

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Proverbs and Sayings about Life

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
– old English proverb

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
– Helen Keller

The best things in life are free.
– Anonymous proverb

Actions speak louder than words.
– Anonymous

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
– Japanese Proverb

Happiness depends upon ourselves
– Aristotle

Where there's a will, there's a way.
– old English proverb

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
– Anonymous

Comparisons are odious.
– old English proverb

No one knows what he can do until he tries.
– Publilius Syrus

This too, shall pass.
– Bible

Anger is often more hurtful than the injury that caused it.
– English Proverb

Practice makes perfect.
– Anonymous

When life gives you lemons, Make Lemonade.
– Anonymous proverb

To err is human, to forgive divine.
– Anonymous proverb

Well begun is half done.
-Aristotle

Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet.
– African Proverb

The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you, it is when you don't understand yourself.
– Anonymous quote

Let bygones be bygones.
– Anonymous proverb

A friend to all is a friend to none.
-Aristotle

A house divided against itself cannot stand.
– old English proverb

Two wrongs don't make a right.
– Anonymous proverb

What's done is done.
– William Shakespeare

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
-Aristotle

Man does not live by bread alone.
– Biblical proverb

Experience is the best teacher.
– Anonymous

There are none so blind as those, that will not see.
– Anonymous proverb

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
– old English proverb

Life is a sum of all your choices.
– Albert Camus

Every cloud has a silver lining. – Anonymous proverb

It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
– J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)

A fool and his money are soon parted.
– old English proverb

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
– Henry David Thoreau

All that glisters is not gold.
– old English proverb

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
– old English proverb

Success is a journey, not a destination.
– Ben Sweetland

If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

– Zen Proverb

Nothing endures but change.
– Heraclitus

Hope springs eternal.
– Alexander Pope

Happiness walks on busy feet.
– Kitte Turmell

Persistence prevails when all else fails!
– Anonymous

Faith can move mountains.
– Anonymous

Each man is the architect of his own fate.
– Appius Claudius

Love conquers all.
– Virgil

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
– Anonymous

The lessons of the past provide the path to the future.
– Anonymous

Many hands make light work.
– Anonymous

Every wall is a door.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
– Plato

Earth laughs in flowers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
– Aristotle

Things do not change; we change.
– Henry David Thoreau

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
– Norman Vincent Peale

Self-trust is the first secret of success.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can't be everything to everyone.
– Bill Cosby

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday
– Anonymous

The starting point of all achievement is desire.
– Napoleon Hill

Leap and the net will appear.
– John Burroughs

All great truths begin as blasphemies.
George Bernard Shaw

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to be happy, be.
Leo Tolstoy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
– Anais Nin

People only see what they are prepared to see.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

To measure the man, measure his heart.
– Malcolm Forbes

The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
George Bernard Shaw

We first make our habits, then our habits make us.
– John Dryden

There are no facts, only interpretations.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
– Raymond Lindquist

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
– John Wooden

Life is as easy or as hard as you think it is.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Look twice before you leap.
– Charlotte Brontë

Stay Alert, and doors will open.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
– John Lubbock

Simple living is the way to happy living.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Ancient Chinese Proverbs

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
– ancient Chinese proverb

I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.
– ancient Chinese proverb (Confucius)

Silence is a source of great strength.
– Lao Tzu

The longest journey begins with a single step.
– ancient Chinese proverb

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
– Confucius

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
– Chinese Proverb

He who is contented is rich.
– Lao Tzu

It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
– ancient Chinese proverb

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

– ancient Chinese proverb

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
– Lao Tzu

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
– Chinese proverb

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
– Confucius

He who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves.
– ancient Chinese proverb

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
– Lao Tzu

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
– Confucius

To lead people, walk behind them.
– Lao Tzu

Study the past, if you would divine the future.
– Confucius

Yiddish Proverbs

Live and let live.
– Yiddish Proverb

A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.
– Yiddish Proverb

Envy breeds hate.
– Yiddish Proverb

No good comes from hurrying.
– Yiddish Proverb

Anger is a thorn in the heart.
– Yiddish Proverb

A bad peace is better than a good war.
– Yiddish Proverb

Confidence is half of victory.
– Yiddish Proverb

Kindness is better than piety.
– Yiddish Proverb

If things are not as you wish, wish them as they are.

– Yiddish Proverb

The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.
– Yiddish Proverb

Man plans, God laughs
– Yiddish Proverb

Don't ask questions about fairy tales.
– Yiddish Proverb

A wise man hears one word and understands two.
– Yiddish Proverb

A meowing cat can't catch mice.
– Yiddish Proverb

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Источник: https://www.joyprogram.com/proverbs.php

Example 1

If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both. (Russian Proverb)

This is a popular adage/proverb that exists in several cultures. It is an expression of the general advice that one should choose a single goal and focus on it, rather than trying to do too much and thus failing to accomplish anything. Notice how the “rabbit” metaphor  gives the adage more texture and color – it’s more memorable than just saying “always pick one goal.”

Example 2

The world is a library – knowledge is rooted in all things. (Lakota Proverb)

This proverb comes from the Lakota, or Sioux, cultures of the American plains. It expresses the Lakota’s belief that human beings should approach the world with a combination of intense curiosity and deep reverence, just the attitude that students have toward a venerable university library.

III. The Importance of Proverbs

Every culture on earth has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of proverbs, and they all borrow from one another. We can tell a lot about a culture by what wisdom it encodes in proverbs, and what imagery or metaphors it employs to express that wisdom.

Due to their concision and frequent use of metaphors, proverbs are very easy to remember, and they often stick with us long after we first hear them. This, in combination with their general applicability, gives proverbs remarkable staying power, which explains why they float around in the culture for centuries or millennia, and why they can so easily translate from one culture into another.

What they gain in applicability and staying power, however, proverbs generally lose in specificity. By definition, a proverb is a short, general statement, meaning there’s no room for explanations or supporting arguments. The proverb must simply be accepted on its intuitive merits and the power of cultural authority.

Example 3

The Nigerian rapper 9ice frequently combines English and Yoruba in his lyrics, often by placing Yoruba proverbs in the context of English lyrics. For example, one of his famous lines is:

They forget say ogbon ju agbaralo [wisdom is greater than power].

This multilingual use of proverbs is a way of reaching a global English-language audience without losing touch with 9ice’s ancestral Yoruba roots.

Aphorism

An aphorism is just a proverb, but has a single author that we can trace. For example, the common saying “all’s well that ends well” is often regarded as a general proverb, but in fact it was originally penned by Shakespeare as the title of his 1605 play.

Truism

A truism is an aphorism or proverb that’s so vague, trite, or general that it’s almost meaningless.

The great proverbs rarely get stale no matter how many times they’re repeated, but if this happens then even an ancient proverb can start to seem a truism.

For example, some people might feel that the proverb “no time the present” is a truism, because it’s somewhat trite and does not add much new information to a given situation.

Metaphor

Many proverbs employ metaphor (having one thing stand in for something else) to get their point across. One example is the adage “if the shoe fits, wear it.” In this case, shoe is a metaphor for opportunity and possibility more generally.

Of course, there are some proverbs that are simple statements of truth without any metaphors – for example, “two wrongs don’t make a right” is a proverb without a metaphor. A proverb without a metaphor is generally referred to as a “maxim.

Maxim

A maxim is a concise statement of a general truth – especially a moral or spiritual truth. It may be either a proverb or an aphorism, depending on whether or not it has a single author. Maxims usually do not employ metaphors, but rather state their point explicitly, e.g. “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Источник: https://literaryterms.net/proverb/

Examples of Proverbs

Proverbs

Proverbs surround us everyday. Whether at work, school, church or during a conversation with a friend, the lihood of hearing a proverb is high. With the influx of different cultures and traditions in the United States, it is not uncommon to come in contact with many examples of proverbs.

People who have a strong religious background might look to the Book of Proverbs in the Bible for examples of proverbs. Others might find comfort in proverbs from different cultures.

African Proverbs

Across the vast continent of Africa, many African nations disseminated proverbs that were meant to educate and inspire those who used them.

Here are a few examples of African proverbs.

  • “A tree is known by its fruit” – (of Zulu origin – this means that success is shown by the deeds.)
  • “I have been bitten by a tsetse fly” – (of Tanzanian origin – this means that a person will continuously be a pest until you pay off a debt.)
  • “The word of friend makes you cry – the word of an enemy makes you laugh” – (of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – this means that a friend will tell you the truth and sometimes the truth hurts, whereas an enemy will only lead you down the wrong path by giving you advice that seems good but is not.)

Asian Proverbs

Some examples of Asian proverbs include the following:

  • “The old horse in the stable still yearns to run” – (this means that those who are older still have things they would to accomplish.)
  • “A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie” – (this means that a small problem can snowball into a huge problem that can cause major damage.)
  • “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – (this means that teaching people is better in the long run because it gives them the skills to provide for themselves as opposed to you doing things for them.)

American Proverbs

Some examples of American based proverbs include:

  • “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” – (this means that when you separate from someone that you love by putting distance between you that you will inevitably love them more and yearn to see them.)
  • “All that glitters is not gold” – (this means that just because something looks good, does not necessarily mean that it is good.)
  • “A monkey in silk is a monkey no less” – (this means that just because someone dresses fancy does not necessarily mean that they are fancy or of good character.)

English Proverbs

Some examples of English proverbs include:

  • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
  • It's no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.
  • See a pin and pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck; see a pin and let it lie, bad luck you'll have all day.
  • 'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
  • Monday's child is fair of face/Tuesday's child is full of grace,/Wednesday's child is full of woe,/Thursday's child has far to go,/Friday's child is loving and giving,/Saturday's child works hard for its living/And a child that's born on the Sabbath day/Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Proverbs from Other Countries

  • Arabic Proverb: An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
  • Finnish proverb: Even a small star shines in the darkness.
  • Italian Proverb: After the game, the king and pawn go into the same box.
  • Jewish Proverb: God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.
  • Russian Proverb: Better to stumble than make a slip of the tongue.
  • Spanish Proverb: Since we cannot get what we , let us what we can get.

What Is a Proverb?

A proverb is most often a phrase or saying that gives advice in an obscure way. The phrase usually has an allegorical type of message behind that when first heard may seem a little odd. Usually a proverb is very well known because of its popular use in colloquial language.

Role of Proverbs in Society

Proverbs play many roles in society. The first, possibly, most common role that a proverb plays is to educate. Most often tossed around as expert advice in conversation, the innate role to educate people on what might happen if they do something.

Think of a proverb as a little tidbit of wisdom that just about everyone – no matter where they are from – can offer. There is a proverb for just about every circumstance, and proverbs can be applied to any situation.

English and American proverbs are almost second nature when delivered. The origins are quite often little known, yet the expressions are popular. Ethnic proverbs, on the other hand, may be a little deeper to digest, and require non-natives of the proverb's country of origin, to think about the meaning in order to better understand how it applies to their lives.

YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2018 by LoveToKnow Corp

Источник: https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-proverbs.html

Proverbs

Proverbs

the teachings of an ancient Israelite Yoda, The Book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.

The book's editors and compilers took wisdom wherever they could find it: the oracles of Agur and Lemuel at the end of Proverbs may very well be non-Israelite in origin, and the “thirty sayings” in the middle part of Proverbs are related to an Egyptian wisdom collection (“The Instructions of Amenemopet”). Combine that with proverbs classically attributed to King Solomon, and you have a delicious Near-Eastern fusion meal, slathered in wisdom gravy. (Mmm, gravy.)

Proverbs is a little Confucius's Analects, which had a profound influence on the ethical, social, and moral teachings of China. Confucius doesn't spend much time getting deep into metaphysics and theological disputes—he just wants to know how to live in accordance with “the Will of Heaven,” how to be a good person, while also managing to live a productive life in the world.

Proverbs has the same set of concerns. It takes the existence of God for granted and has interesting poetic statements to make about the role of Wisdom in the world.

Yet overwhelmingly, the advice it offers is extremely practical: it's concerned with the details of everyday life, with work and family.

the writer Jack Miles observed, Proverbs deals with the struggles of character formation and prudence—in a way that the Torah doesn't, exactly (source).

The Dating Game

It's really hard to determine when the book was actually written or compiled because it takes so much material from so many sources from different time periods.

One section claims to have been compiled by officials in King Hezekiah's court—so if they truly date from his reign, that would put that section at roughly the 8th century CE… though its sayings could've come down from earlier centuries.

Then the final compilation of the book would've ly been a few centuries after Hezekiah's reign, give or take a century or two.

As with all things Bible, you never can tell.

If you've ever wondered if it's okay to gorge yourself on honey until you throw up, Proverbs is the book for you. (Psst—Proverbs says the answer is: “It is not.”)

But, um, even if you haven't wondered about that particular quandary, Proverbs still probably has something to say to you.

It answers the same questions that people ask when they consult self-help books or when they (used to) write in to “Dear Abby”: “How should I live?” Proverbs is basically an ancient self-help manual—yet it has plenty of advice that still holds up today. For example: “Soft words calm another's anger” and again, “Don't eat honey until you puke” (to paraphrase).

To quote the RZA, explaining the name of The Wu Tang Clan: “'Wu' stands for 'Wisdom of the Universe' […] but there's a little 'tang' thrown in.” That's actually a pretty good definition of The Book of Proverbs—though, we suppose it's debatable exactly how much 'tang' it has.

(Well, we think it has 'tang'—more than you would probably expect, anyway. Also, we're painfully aware that quoting the RZA in this “Why Should I Care?” could make us seem Jason Schwartzman in “Yo Teach!” from Funny People. But we reject that contention. Vigorously.)

Wise Elders

Proverbs isn't just a collection of crotchety sayings, “Be sure to get your daily recommended amount of fiber” (though there's, admittedly, a small element of that kind of advice).

To some degree, it does represent the advice of senior citizens to young people (there's an ancient Egyptian story about an elderly man who got revenge on his nephew for trying to assassinate him by reciting proverbs to the nephew until the nephew exploded and died—presumably boredom) (source).

More than that, though, Proverbs aims to free you, by giving you the tools and craft you need to navigate life in the world. “Free your mind, the rest will follow”—that's a proverb (just, er, not one from Proverbs).

Despite the stodgy reputation of some Biblical Wisdom Literature, its goal is to teach people the rules so that they can eventually thoroughly embody and forget them.

Proverbs imagines Wisdom (or any wise person) as “rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth” or “playing all over the earth.

” Although it seems a lot of advice and precepts at first, on a deeper level it's about giving people a method of targeting their energy to work in a way that helps them enjoy life. it says: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick / But a fulfilled desire is a tree of life.”

That's some “Wu” for you, but we hope you'll agree that it's also got quite a bit of “Tang,” too.

Источник: https://www.shmoop.com/Proverbs/

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