Proverb Expansion VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD Man is by nature selfish. The selfishness in him prompts him to do evil deeds. But goodness is also present in man. Life is a mixture of good and evil. Virtue means goodness. A virtuous person is essentially good. His mind is free from selfishness and he does not harm others. Instead, he helps people through his food words and deeds. He is a man of principles. The essential quality of a virtuous person is that he does not expect any reward for his good deeds. The reward that he gets is the satisfaction of having done a good thing. Anyone who expects a reward for his virtuous deed is not essentially virtuous. A person who resorts to foul methods to attain something may not succeed. But a virtuous person’s good deeds will lead him to success. A virtuous person may face some difficulties initially. But he will not give up because he is fully aware that virtue triumphs in the end. Even if dishonest people try to defeat him he will win in the end. The satisfaction that he gets then cannot be equaled by the achievement of something gained by unjust means. A virtuous person always enjoys peace of mind... read more
Proverb Expansion VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE The proverb stresses the need to introduce changes in life to make life more meaningful and enjoyable. Spices are of different flavours and they add to the taste of the food. Different flavours are used for different dishes. If the same spices are used for different dishes, the taste is lost. The variety of spices makes food more palatable. Thus, eating becomes a pleasure. As spices are to food, so is variety to life. The repetition of the same routine makes life dull and monotonous. But variety of things and ideas brings fun and joy in life. Coarse, unbleached cloth is enough to make dress for a man. But there are superfine, bleached cloths also. The wearing of dresses made of such cloths makes us more elegant and acceptable. Variety is needed in every sphere of life. If the same food is served every day, eating becomes unpleasant. If the same routine is followed in a family, life becomes monotonous and less enjoyable. Picnic, shopping, watching good films and engaging in good hobbies provide variety to life. Monotony kills the pleasure of life. But variety of scenes, people, places, food, clothing, art and entertainment can make living a pleasure. Change brings... read more
Proverb Expansion UNION IS STRENGTH The proverb means that there is strength in unity. If we remain united, we will be able to resist the attack of our enemies and overcome our difficulties successfully. If we quarrel among ourselves, our opponents will easily conquer us. Through the story of “The Bundle of Sticks”, the old man was able to teach his quarreling sons that they should stand united if they wished to prosper. We can break a single stick easily. But we cannot break a bundle of sticks. Each stick of the bundle contributes its little strength to the whole, and all the sticks together achieve much strength. A divided family is doomed. A divided country is ruined. If there is unity among the members of a family or a nation, it cannot make any progress. Disunited, their progress is bound to retard; they are doomed to failure and ultimately they would perish. But, a united action will bring them success and honour. There are many instances in history where families and nations have been ruined on the rocks of disunity, but have progressed by united action. India was conquered and ruled by the foreigners because there was disunity. Similarly, in the past workers were exploited by their employers... read more
Proverb Expansion TWO IS COMPANY, THREE IS CROWD Everybody likes friends and friendship. It is always good to have the company of a good friend. A single person always feels lonely. He wants someone to love and to be loved. He wants to share his joys and sorrows with someone. He wants help and encouragement. Only a friend can fulfill all these needs. So he is constantly on the lookout for a company. Two persons make the ideal company. They supplement each other. The qualities of true friendship, namely, mutual understanding, good-will and fellow-feeling, exist among them. They share their sorrows and joys. They try to strengthen and inspire each other. But when a third person enters the company, the balance of friendship is disturbed. The dependence of the two on each other is lost. Each one may try to cultivate friendship with the new comer. A sort of inner fight grows among them. When the number of friends increases, the company turns into a crowd. It may then become difficult to take a decision which is acceptable to all. The larger the number of persons in a company, the more unmanageable it becomes. True friendship cannot exist in a crowd. So, it is said that two is company,... read more
Proverb Expansion TRY, TRY, TRY, AGAIN Success does not come in the first attempt. We have to try and try until we succeed. No one has an unbroken series of successes. On the other hand, everyone has faced several failures. It is only through failures that we can succeed, and we have to try again without giving up hope. Failure is not uncommon. We should not get disappointed when we meet with failure. Every failure will have something to teach us also. Those who are aware of these facts, and act accordingly will realize that failures are the stepping stones to success. It is foolish to give up effort and weep when we fail in our attempt. Instead, we must try again. The lessons we learn from our failures will help us to do better or even succeed in later attempts. None of man’s creations has been made at the first attempt. Inventors, explorers, artists, writers and scientists did not become great through their first attempts in their respective fields. Even today, man is trying to learn more about nature, space and the universe. We hear only the story of man’s achievements in various fields. We do not know about the failures he met with, we learn that he... read more
Proverb Expansion TRUTH IS OFTEN UNPLEASANT It is hard for people to accept truth. Truth is better. It is often unpleasant to speak out the truth. For example, a person does something wrong and it happens to be harmful to the society. But he does not like to be told the truth that his action is wrong. He will not accept the truth. Instead, he will try to justify his action. This is the case with all people. Sometimes, the decision of the government on certain issue may be wrong. Even if it is pointed out by the press, the leader of the government may not be ready to accept the truth. He may try to find out silly excuses to justify the decision. If someone praises us, we feel very happy. But if someone points out our mistakes, we feel annoyed. The criticism raised about us may be correct and we too know that is just. But we consider the man who criticised us as our enemy. Truth is often unpleasant. But we should learn to accept truth. Truth cannot be hidden for long. So the best thing is to accept the truth even is it is unpleasant.
Proverb Expansion THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE This is a statement with reason and logic behind it. There cannot be any smoke without some fire. Similarly, there must be some cause for an action ground for a reaction and also for its effect and outcome. The outcome follows as a result of the occurrence of the cause. It can be seen in all aspects of life. All quarrels and disputes originate from some cause on the part of someone and then that cause leads to some consequences, good or bad. The great revolutions of the world occurred owing to some specific causes. The root causes of the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution were inequality and poverty. Communism and socialism emerged in history because of the exploitation of the labourers by the capitalists. This is true in science also when it asserts that every action has some reaction or that every cause has some effect. It is also true in law when it prescribes that for every crime thee must be some motive behind it. It is equally true in history because every epoch is regarded as a reaction to the past age. Hence, the statement is logical and apt.
Proverb Expansion SPEECH IS SILVER BUT SILENCE IS GOLDEN Oratory is an art. A person with an oratorical skill can attract people to his side. He can even reach positions in life using his skill. It is a pleasure to listen people speaking well on good things. A person having mastery of a particular subject or topic can impress his listeners with his oratorical skill. People manage to achieve a lot by speaking cleverly. But great care is to be taken while speak. We should speak only when it is necessary. When we speak, the words we choose must suit the occasion. We should speak to the point, leaving unnecessary details. Unwise words and hasty utterances do a lot of harm. When it is not necessary to speak, we should remain silent. This is the sign of wise man. He talks only when it is needed. He doesn’t blab. That is why it is said that silence is golden. When a wise man speaks, he chooses and uses the apt words. He limits his speech to the minimum. He knows when to speak and when not to. He cannot be assessed by his listeners because he does not speak out everything that is in his mind. A wise man... read more
Proverb Expansion SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE This is a well-known proverb which stresses the importance of perseverance. We can achieve great things only by perseverance. The man who is in a hurry is likely to commit mistakes and is likely to fail. If we wish to succeed, we should work calmly and patiently. In a long race, it is the man who runs with single-minded attention that wins. The man who runs in a hurry is likely to get tired soon and may not win the race. This is clearly illustrated by the famous fable of the victory. He was confident of reaching the goal and even despised the tortoise for moving slowly. He slept under a tree for some time. The slow but steady tortoise continued his race and reached the finishing point much before the hare. The tortoise won the race because he worked steadily and patiently. The fable teaches us that steady hard work will help us to win even the impossible. There are certain things in our lives which we may think are very difficult to achieve. But if we work slowly and steadily with a firm determination, certainly we will be able to win them sooner or later. Similarly, the student who... read more
Proverb Expansion WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY This proverb assures us that, if we are really determined to do a thing, we shall find a way to do it, however difficult it may be. If we are armed with a burning ambition and an inflexible determination, we shall surely be able to sweep aside every obstacle in our path. Nothing can defeat a fierce will, which may be compared to a mountain torrent that sweeps out of its way stones and rocks and trees. All those who achieve great things in life are those who possess irresistible will power. The word “impossible” is not in their dictionary. In short, it is will power that brings success, and it is lack of will – power that causes failure. So if we wish to achieve success in life, we should develop irresistible will-power. To some extent, will – power is a congenital gift, but through constant effort we can train ourselves to act with self – confidence and determination in the pursuit of our objectives, and thereby win success.
Proverb Expansion TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH The literal meaning of the proverb is that when many cooks are appointed to prepare the soup, they will spoil it instead of making it delicious. Each of them will have his own tastes and preferences and will use them to make the soup. Often, they disagree with one another in the method of making the broth. Every cook will cook the same soup according to his own interest and skill. As a result, they will spoil the soup. Te same thing applies to most other enterprises. When a person wants to start a project or a business it should be planned according to one main brain. He can do it efficiently because he alone will be responsible for that task. If many persons do the same project, they all use different ideas of their own and the project will be a failure. Nobody will be ready to take up the responsibility for the failure of the project. So, certain things should be done independently by a person and with responsibility. He will be able to do it efficiently and his task will be a success. If too many people are there to do a thing at the same time, the... read more
Proverb Expansion TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO FORGIVE DIVINE Man is by nature weak and imperfect. He is imperfect because he is human. He is moulded in such a way that he is imperfect. To commit mistake is normal with man. Though Adam and Eve had all the pleasures of the Garden of Eden, they were tempted to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree and they ate it. This is the innate nature of a man. Often, he is too weak to resist temptation. This weakness makes him do wrong ad evil things. The history of the world is full of the record of the errors committed by man and how his wrong decisions and judgments led to many calamities. So it is natural for man to make mistakes. But it is divine to forgive. Divine quality lies in forgiveness. When someone harms us, it is natural that we want to take revenge upon him. When we take revenge upon him, we are in a way doing more harm to him. If we forgive him, we defeat the evil in him this will be an eye-opener for the wrong-doer ad e will never try to harm others later. Our act of forgiveness purifies his heart and he can... read more
Proverb Expansion TIME AND TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN The proverb means that time once lost is lost forever. When we get a good opportunity, we must make the maximum use of it. If we cannot make use of it, it is lost forever. Time and tide has its own course. It does not wait for anyone. When the proper time for taking some action comes, we must act immediately. Once we miss it, we may never come across such an opportune moment. There is no meaning in regretting over the loss. We must not miss the tide when it is favourable. If we miss the tide, we may have to wait for a long time and that may put us to much inconvenience. Thus the proverb stresses the need to do our duty in time if a student wastes his time at school; he is missing the golden opportunity of a sound education. Only when he grows up, he would realize the loss. A farmer dries the hay when the sun shines. If he does it in rain, the hay will decay. A blacksmith strikes the iron rod and gives it the shape when it is hot. Once the rod gets cold, he cannot give it the required... read more
Proverb Expansion THE TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT The literal meaning of the proverb is that when we taste any fruit, we come to know the basic nature of the tree. We can form an opinion about the tree merely after tasting its fruit. Similarly, a person is judges by the way he behaves. The external appearance of a person needn’t be taken into account to judge him. Actions and behavior give the actual image of a man. Actions and habits reflect the character of a man. The inward character of a person can be judged by his actions and manners. Good actions come only from a good person. One can expect only bad actions from a bad person. The kind deeds of a person show his sympathetic nature harsh actions shoe cruel nature, lively actions shows happy nature and sad mood shows cruel pessimistic nature. It is also true that we can judge a family by the behaviour of the children. Good or bad manners of the children whether the family is cultured or not. Schools and colleges can be judged by the caliber of the students whether they are disciplined or undisciplined. In the same manner, a country’s attitude towards other countries can be perceived from... read more
Proverb Expansion THE PEN IS MIGHTER THAN THE SWORD The pen helps us to record ad convey our ideas in black and white. The sword helps us to prove our might and to rule over the less mighty. In a wider sense, the pen represents intellectual or mental force whereas the sword stands for physical force; mental power is always superior to physical power. A warrior who wields a sword is destructive force, but an author who uses a pen is a constructive force. If we go through the pages of history, we come across many warriors and writers. We admire the military feats of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Napoleon. But their achievements do not evoke a positive response in us. They do not inspire us in a way like the works of great authors. On the other hand, the great heroes of the pen – Homer, Kalidasa, Shakespeare, Milton and Tagore who gave the world new enlightenment and renaissance through their pen are remembered with adoration and worship. Their writings continue to inspire and influence people even after their death. The world is what it is today because people wrote and spoke about what is good and what is evil and what is to be removed... read more