English Proverbs – A stitch in time saves nine

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Timely action is a very important thing in life. The proverb emphasises the importance of timely action. An action, however small it may be, if done at the right time, will help to avoid serious and dangerous situation. If we repair a small tear on our shirt now, we can avoid the necessity of mending a large tear or even discarding the shirt altogether. A small piece of work done at the proper time may save a lot of time, work and money later. A wall must be repaired as soon as a crack is seen, or the whole building would fall. Repair the hole in the boat when it is seen or the boat would sink. A little cough is nothing. But if it is neglected, it might develop into serious diseases like tuberculosis. Had timely action been taken, great wars would not have taken place. In the absence of it, terrific destruction took place in the world. When there is an unpleasant situation, we would attend to it immediately. Otherwise, it will get out of control. A slight disagreement between two parties may later on develop into a serious one. By getting the dispute settled all of a sudden, we can avoid serious complications. The proverb emphasises that we must never postpone things. We must rise to the occasion and act at the right moment.

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English Proverbs – A rolling stone gathers no moss

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A stone that remains at place for a long time without motion gets covered with moss. But a stone that rolls constantly does not gather any moss. Similarly, a person who keeps changing his place, profession or course of study, does not gain any experience or knowledge. A person who constantly shifts his residence from place to place will not have a constant friends or neighbours to know and love him. Whatever be his capabilities, he will take time to establish his reputation and win people’s confidence at a new place. Such a person does not have any affinity to anyone or anything. Just as moss covers a settled stone and makes it soft and beautiful, a man who is settled in life gets people to love and to be loved. In the same way, a person who frequently changes his occupation will not gain a steady, established position. A man who lacks determination does not stick to anything. He loiters in the world aimlessly, if a student keeps changing his course of study from physics to literature, from literature to music and so on, he cannot acquire through knowledge in any field. We should have a specific aim in life and work constantly for it with a strength of character. Thus the message conveyed by the proverb is that steadiness of purpose is the key to success.

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English Proverbs – A little learning is a dangerous thing

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The proverb warns us against people who have half knowledge of things, but pretend that they are very wise and are the masters of their subjects. We acquire knowledge all our lives. But we have to perfect whatever we gather as knowledge. We have to make our knowledge up to date. We must also remember that we know is only very little compared to what we do not know. Our knowledge should not be allowed to make us proud and haughty. We should not put into practice our knowledge will we know that it is complete and correct. Imperfect knowledge of any matter is undesirable. A little knowledge misleads a person and often proves disastrous. It gives him the false notion that he knows everything. This may lead him to false conclusions. A doctor without proper knowledge is dangerous to patients. Such a doctor’s wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription can take the lives of his innocent patients. A doctor’s assistant who is familiar with certain medical treatments will prove to be dangerous if he begins to prescribe medicines and operate on patients. A radio or an automobile mechanic having only an elementary knowledge of his work may spoil the machinery while repairing it. Similarly, a man with a little knowledge of law may involve himself or another person in serious trouble as a result of his ignorance. Imperfect knowledge will prevent us from doing the right thing. So a little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing.

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English Proverbs – A friend in need is a friend indeed

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The proverb gives a definition of the qualification of a good friend. True friendship can be judged only at the time of a crisis. A real friend is one who helps us in trouble. A man will have a number of friends when he lives in prosperity. But many of them will not be there when he is in trouble or in adversity. Those friends who remain with him even in his adversity are his real friends. The friends who desert us when we are in trouble are not our real friends, but our enemies. A real friend is ready to help his friend even if he is not in a position to help. Seeing the friend in difficulty, a real friend can never feel at ease. A real friend sacrifices all that he can to help his friend who is in need of help. The true test of the real worth of a friend is our adversity. Prosperity makes friends and adversity drives them away. We need not have too many friends. The few that are must be good. A sincere friend is worthier than wealth.

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English Proverbs – A drowning man catches a straw

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A person who is in a critical situation will try to save himself by taking the support of any feeble and frail thing. A man who is on the verge of going to ruins finds even a little help to be of immense use just as a drowning man seeks the support of a straw. A straw is very feeble and it cannot bear the weight of a man. But a person who has fallen into a deep river and is drowning will desperately catch a floating straw. He will not think then that he is doing a silly thing. He thought then will be to clutch at anything that will seem to save him. A little help from outside enables a man afflicted with misery to come out victorious. A person faced with a serious problem will grab at any opportunity in the hope of solving it. He doesn’t then think whether it is a big chance or a small one. Nothing in this world is insignificant. An apparently worthless thing may turn out to be the most helping factor to a man. What appears to us useless and petty may prove to be a saving factor. We tend to regard some people as silly and some small things as useless and insignificant so long as we have power and wealth and human support. But, when once all these disappear and we are faced with ruin, these very significant people and things which we have earlier despised prove to be decisive factors in our existence.

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English Proverbs – A burnt child dreads the fire

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The proverb tells us that experience is the best teacher. We tell a child that fire is dangerous and not to touch it. Sometimes the child may not understand it properly. So it may touch the fire and get burnt. It gets an experience from its deed and it will be very careful with fire later on. The lesson that we learn from a bitter experience is never forgotten. We learn many things from our lives. These experiences are more effective than the knowledge that we gain from reading books. We never forget the things that we have learned ourselves. We commit many mistakes in our lives. The experiences that we have gained from our mistakes will help us to avoid them in future. We will be very careful not to repeat the same mistake. An experience is a sort of warning and we will surely learn from it.

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English Proverbs – A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush

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The moral of this proverb is that we should be content with what we have and should not become greedy. The proverb warns us against running after bigger fortunes leaving the opportunities we get. A bird which one has got in the hand is always more valuable than two birds which one aims to get, but are in the bush. The reason is that the birds in the bush can always fly away and the possibility of his getting them is doubtful. But the one in his hand cannot escape and can be useful to him. If the person lets the bird in his hand go free and tries to catch those in the bush, they may also fly away and he will a complete loser. It is better to be in possession of even small things than to have hopes to get something difficult. In other words, it is always better to utilize whatever opportunity is at hand than look forward to some other opportunity that may come in future. Our neighbours who are poor sometimes prove to be more helpful to us than our rich relations who are far away. Our rich relations who are away may not will to help us at all. So it is foolish to reject the help of our poor neighbours. Unreasonable greed and craze to get quickly rich always lands one in trouble. The story of king Midas is an eye opener in this connection. Not connected with his treasure of gold and silver, he begged God for the boon of golden touch. He was given the boon that whatever he touched would turns into gold. At last he lost everything including his dearest daughter. So we should be content with what we have.

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English Proverbs – A bad Workman quarrels with his tools

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Tools help to improve the quality of the work; therefore they are necessary for the work to be done. But it is important how they are used and who use them. A good workman is known by his efficiency. His efficiency lies in handling the tools. He is talented, skilled and confident of success in his work. He knows how to put the tools to proper use and he does not blame them. A bad workman does not know how to make proper use of his tools. He does not have the skill of handling the tools and so he quarrels with them. As a result, the quality of his work will be low. He does not admit his own lack of skill and talent. This is common among people. Many people will try to put the blame on others for their own faults. They never admit their faults. If a student does not get pass mark in the examination, he will put the blame on his teacher. If a cricket player does not get sufficient runs, he will say that it is the defect of the bat or the ground. If a team fails in a match, the members of the team will say that the referee was partial. Thus, any workman who quarrels with his tools is a bad workman. On the other hand, a good workman will repair his tools if they don’t work well. He never finds fault with his tools. In short, a man who admits his faults and limitations can overcome them easily and he will succeed in life.

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English Proverbs – To Err is Human, to Forgive Divine

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In one of Shakespeare’s plays one of the characters says, ” The quality of mercy is divine “. Indeed to be able to forget the evil that others have done to you and to forgive them is divine. Jesus Christ, even on the cross, during his last moments, was able to say this about the people who had put him to death : father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing. Lord Rama showed no rancour against his stepmother, Kaikeyi, for sending him to the forest for sending him to the forest for fourteen years so that her son, Bharat, could be the king.

All of us are humans. We all have our weaknesses.No human being is prefect. So when someone does a wrong to us, why can’t we forgive them? When someone hurts us it is because that person is human and little understands the harm that he or she is causing. Forgiving that person brings out the god-like nature that lies in man.It is not very easy to do, but once we do it, we will feel an inner peace and the spirit of reconciliation.

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