Proverb Expansion A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED Those friends thou hast and their adoption tried Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel. The lines from Hamlet have a string of doubt behind them. Shakespeare himself was betrayed by one of his fast friends who stole his beloved. In ‘As You Like it’ he is more vehement when he says ‘Most friendship is feigning’. A rich many generally steals the show only till his pocket is full. The people around him are all sycophants. They leave him when he has nothing to give. Prosperity is not the touchstone of friendship Adversity tells a man his true friends. Friendship has been very challenging for Prophets and saints. Jesus had a large number of followers – his real friends. Still none dare come to save him from being stuck to the cross. None could face the onslaught of the opponents. Socrates had friends. But they could not fight against the tyranny of Greek autocrats. St. Joan of Arc commanded a big army against the Britons. She was befriended by all the French including the clergy. The same clergy betrayed her and handed her over to the British to be burnt at the stake. A politician is all... read more
Proverb Expansion GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES Dependence is the worst enemy of man. It leads to desperation and suicides. A man who just believes in fate alone and does not make efforts walks on a slippery ground. He may fall any moment and lose all the strength that God has given him. He betrays God and invites insult and humiliation at his door. Let us go back to the Biblical story where a trader wanted to go for pilgrim. He had three servants. Before he left the city he gave one talent (a coin) to one of his three servants. The other received two and the third got three. After some years the trader came back and wanted to know how the three had utilized the coins that he had given them. The first presented the talent to his master in its original form. The other had given the two to another businessman who gave him ten. He presented these ten to the master. But the third took his master to a flourishing business complex and said ‘my Lord the capital was yours – the efforts were mine – the complex is yours’. The trader was pleased with him and embraced him. If we make efforts God... read more
Proverb Expansion EXAMPLE IS BETTER THAN PRECEPT We are in the habit of giving sermons to others. People advise others on any issue that comes up. Before we tender advice to others we should introspect ourselves. If we smoke and ask the children not to smoke it won’t have any impression on the boys. They may not smoke out of fear, but will surely make an experiment when a chance occurs. Many mothers would ask the sons not to have chilies while they do have it. Father would ask the boy or the girl to rise early and go for a walk, but he himself sleeps till nine. Boys are asked not to remain constantly before the TV. screen while the elderly people always remain there. These orders, suggestions or advice have no effect on the youngsters. A mother once took her son to a saint. She requested him to advise the boy not to take too much of jaggery. The saint asked her to bring the boy to him after seven days. After a week when the mother approached him again he advised the boy not to take too much jaggery. He told him how it affects health. The mother asked him why he did not advise the boy a week back.... read more
Proverb Expansion BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER Go to Jamuna Pushta i.e. the barrage on river Jamuna in Delhi. You’ll come across groups of people – young and old – girls and boys – rich and poor – highly educated and illiterate – all having a common purpose -consuming drugs in one form or the other. The scene at the corner Panwala in Connought Place in New Delhi, Anna Salai in Chennai or Kalbadevi in Mumbai is no different. These are the havens of drug addicts. All have the common purpose and flock together. Notorious students in schools and colleges form groups – sometimes rival groups too. Teachers for whom school or college work is just a side work have strong unions to safeguard their own interests. So is the case with the surplus staff in public sector (nationalized bodies like banks). They form strong trade unions and are close to one another like real brothers. No different are the unscrupulous political leaders who indulge in different types of scams. Even these plunderers of the national wealth have their ethics. They remain together. They help one another even at the time of distress – they flock together. Of late the tendency of flocking together has acquired a healthier... read more
Proverb Expansion A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE Man is himself responsible for the problems that he creates for his family or for himself. The problems must be sorted out as soon as they start. If the child starts feeling inferiority complex he must be dealt with at an early stage or his career would be doomed. A wall must be repaired as soon as a crack is seen or the whole building would fall. A business should be managed well as soon as there are the losses being or the firm would fail. Repair the hole in the boat when it just starts or the boat would sink. Stitch your Saree or the Shirt as soon as it is torn a little otherwise you will have to stitch it again and again or even may have to throw it away. A small gap in a dam in Gujarat was not repaired. It resulted in the bursting of the dam. A water sheet 20 ft. high ran across the villages and thousands of people were dead in Morvi a beautiful city within three minutes. There may be a wrong planning. It must be checked at the initial stage or it would fail and harm the interests of the nation.... read more
Proverb Expansion TO ERR IS HUMAN TO FORGIVE DIVINE To commit mistakes is normal with man. According to Christian mythology the first man and woman Adam and Eve committed a sin by disobeying their creator. They were tempted to eat the fruit of the tree of wisdom. Thus they lost the simplicity that God had ordained for them; Still God did not turn them out of the garden of Aden. The divine forgiveness allowed them to carve their life as they wished. The process goes on. Vice has become innate in man. He approaches the Lord only when he loses all. The person he approaches helps him by bestowing forgiveness on him. People having this divine quality are rare. Still they exist, for without them the world would be lopped sided. When Shylock does not accept the offer of Bassanio about showing grace to Antonio Portia tries to convince him that mercy. “droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath ………………………………………………it becomes. The throned monarch better than his crown;” It is a divine quality. God, in a way, incarnates in the man who shows mercy to others. The worst aspect of the society to-day is that a man commits a mistake and tries to justify it.... read more
Proverb Expansion WISDOM LIES IN CUTTING ONE’S COAT ACCORDING TO ONE’S CLOTH Wisdom means making the best use of available resources or opportunities to the maximum advantage to oneself by using the best judgment. The type of coat a person has to choose depends upon the size of cloth he has with him. If a person wants to have a coat stitched in his size, he should buy the cloth in required measurement. If the piece of cloth he has is small, he should fix the size of his coat accordingly. If it is a big coat that he wants to make, and he cuts a small piece, he won’t be able to make a coat of the right size. Economically speaking, income is limited and has alternative uses, but wants are unlimited. Wisdom lies in making use of the available income to meet the urgent needs and then, if possible, meet the luxuries. The coat and cloth can be related to income and expenditure also. We should balance our income and expenditure in the right proportion. Our expenditure should never exceed our income. A person who spends more than his income falls into debt. We should always try to live within our means. A wise man adjusts his... read more
Proverb Expansion WORK IS WORSHIP Any deed that does not hurt another person, and is aimed at the well-being of others, is equal to prayer. Such a deed will bring happiness and satisfaction to the doer and the receiver. Worship does not merely mean spending long hour in prayer and meditation. Any noble work that makes others happy is worship. A man who spends much of his time in prayer may not be willing to help others. He may be of the opinion that worship is spending time with God only. But a selfless man who works sincerely for others is also worshipping God. His work itself is worship. People often find it easy to advise others to do a thing. But, often, they don’t practice what they preach. People who are in authority exhort people to be patriotic, oppose corruption and avoid violence. But, these same people fall victims of corruption and their activities are not nation-oriented. So doing good deeds is certainly better than talking about good deeds. Doing service to humanity is equivalent to worshipping God. Gandhiji was really a man of action. To him, serving God was serving his fellowmen. Mother Teresa finds fulfillment in serving others. These noble souls worshipped God through serving others.... read more
Proverb Expansion WHO KNOWS MOST SAYS LEAST Empty-headed people are often talkative. But their utterances are meaningless. They try to talk much to prove what they are at. They cannot impress their listeners and even confuse them. But a learned person talks much less. He talks to the point and also at the apt time. A person who knows a subject well need not prove that he knows. Most talking is boasting about one’s knowledge. People who know something about many things, and people with vague ideas, babble. They give unnecessary explanations and in the end they themselves get confused. A person who knows his subject talks with ease and brevity. The less he talks, the more his listeners understand. Only a person who is thorough with a subject can talk like that. People who have no idea of what they are saying do not talk anything worthwhile. The balance and composure of the learned and knowledgeable bear testimony to their self confidence. Empty headed people talk out their emptiness with the belief that the listeners accept their views without any objection. In fact, their listeners have only sympathy for them. People who are wise do not try to demonstrate their knowledge. They know things well, but talk less.
Proverb Expansion WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY The meaning of the proverb is that if we are determined to do a thing, we can certainly find a way to do it. It is will-power that enables us to succeed. Nothing is impossible for a man who has strong will-power and a firm determination to act. History teaches us that when men have strong determination, they can achieve great things. There may be obstacles, but they can be overcome. Napoleon, Gandhiji, Lincoln and others worked, challenged heaven and earth, swam against the current, and emerged successful and left imprints on the pages of world history. They proved to the world that whatever be the obstacles, if one has will, determination, courage, endurance and perseverance, one can attain anything and everything in the world. Napoleon said, “There is nothing impossible. ‘Impossibility’ is a meaningless word in the dictionary”. The opposition of a sizeable section of America did not prevent Abraham Lincoln from his plan of abolishing slavery from the map of America. The bloodshed at Jallianwalla Bagh did not instill fear in the hearts of patriotic Indians. Instead, it only encouraged them to liberate the country from the clutches of the foreigners. The lives of great scientists... read more
Proverb Expansion WHERE ONE DOOR SHUTS, ANOTHER OPENS Life on this earth is a struggle for existence. We have to face innumerable difficulties in life. When one problem is solved, another one appears. We should not get disappointed in such a situation. It is how we face each problem that counts. An optimist will find consolation and solution to any difficult problem. He does not lose his presence of mind in any adverse situation. But a pessimist approaches problems in a different way. He gets dejected and thinks that all the doors are shut to him. He also feels that all are against him and they all hate him. As a result, he does not succeed in life normally. An optimist wins always because he is sure of himself. When one door is shut to him, he will console himself by saying that another one will opened for him. He tries hard and will find a solution to any difficult situation. The proverb also conveys the message that God loves all and will not discard any. He will always help us in any adverse situation to find a way out. So, trust in God and work hard to achieve success in life.
Proverb Expansion WHAT CANNOT BE CURED MUST BE ENDURED We face many obstacles and problems in our lives. We have succeeded in finding solutions to some of them by our effort. But even if we try hard, we are not able to solve some problems or difficulties in our lives. The only thing left before us is to endure them or suffer them. We should accept the reality and try to lead a contented life. If a person’s disease cannot be cured, he has to endure it. There is no other way left. What cannot be cured or solved must be tolerated and endured. Everyone has problems to face. We should try our best to overcome them. If we cannot, in spite of our best efforts, we have to endure them. Many people give up hope in life when such a situation comes. This will only make life miserable. We should try to adapt ourselves to the reality. The example set by the great men and women of the world, cheerfully enduring their disabilities, are an eye-opener in this connection. Beethoven, one of the greatest musicians and composers of the world, became deaf at a very early age. He tried his best to find a remedy for it. When... read more
Proverb Expansion WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE Beginnings are always difficult and so a good beginning is very important. It is a fact that when we start any task in a good manner, it reaches its heights successfully. A good start in anything is important for its successful completion. A bad beginning will have an adverse effect on the progress of the work. It may cause delay in the execution of the work. Sometimes, we may have to undo what we have done till then. This causes waste of time, money and energy. We have to make the best use of time and energy. A good and smooth start will surely lead to the progress of the work. We should also try to avoid any mistakes that might occur. The progress and completion of a project depend on a good start. If a person begins his business after taking sufficient preparations, half of his task is done. But if a person opens a shop in a hurry and without sufficient capital and preparation, he will not succeed. The customers who visit the shop do not get enough selections and as a result, the shop will have a bad name from the beginning. It is very important to make a... read more
Proverb Expansion WE LIVE IN DEEDS, NOT IN YEARS This proverb means that the worth or value of our life depends not upon the years we live, but upon the good or useful deeds we do in this world. Most people usually pray for a long life. But it is not life that matters, but living. A brief life made glorious by virtuous deeds is far better than a long life of no use to others. Ever since the inception of the world, how many people have been born, lived and died, nobody can even guess. But even in such an overcrowded world, some people have made history. It is also worth noting that these great men who have left their footprints on the stands of time did not live long. Within their short span of time, they left an indelible impression on the world through their good deeds. Christ died at the age of 33. Shankaracharya and Alexander the Great also died at about 33 years. Shelley, Keats, Bhagath Singh, Swami Vivekananda – all these great men had only short lives. But who can ever forget their glorious achievements in their chosen fields? These men have become immortal through their good deeds. The survival of our name and... read more
Proverb Expansion WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Nature has provided everything that man needs for his existence. He is to use them carefully and prudently. If he wastes the gifts of nature, he and the future generations will suffer. There are many renewable and non-renewable resources in nature. Resources like coal, petroleum and minerals are non-renewable. Man has to use them prudently and scientifically. Unwise use of resources may reduce the living standard of the future generations. If the present available resources are used prudently, the future generations will not have to search for new sources of energy. In the same way, we should be careful in spending our money and using our resources. If we spend our money carefully, we will not have shortage of it. We will be then able to get all the necessities of life. Those who do not waste will not be in want. We see around us so many persons who were very rich once, but are now poor and miserable. They have reached such a stage through their extravagance. They spent more money than was needed. In other words, they wasted their money without thinking of the consequences. Time, health, money and opportunities are not to be wasted. If they are wasted, we... read more