Proverbs Prove the Point, Part 4
It doesn't matter where we come from, every nation and every language has its own proverbs which have been handed down, generation to generation, and are still widely observant and of value. Here are some Thai proverbs [bold print] (and their equivalents in English) so you may compare:
| ||The worth of a thing is best known by the want of it. |
We never miss the water 'til the well runs dry (tells us not to take things, including health, for granted lest we be caught unprepared).
| ||Don't break the handle of a knife with your knee. |
Who removes stones, bruise their fingers (advises us not to use our puny force against that which is stronger. If it is a problem, or obstacle, better to use tact than force to get around it).
| ||To cover one whole dead elephant with a lotus leaf. |
What is done by night appears by day (warns us against misdeeds by night which will be revealed in daylight i.e. don't hide wrongdoings because the truth will surface in the end).
| ||The charm at the tip of a ladle; Husband will love you to death. |
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach (aside from other qualities, a woman should be able to cook if she wants to keep her husband. If a woman is a hopeless cook, she shouldn't marry a man who has a healthy appetite).
| ||To use shrimps to bait a perch. |
To throw out a sprat to catch a mackerel (a reflection on human nature when we are often prepared to make a small sacrifice to obtain a larger gain).
| ||Many lawyers, many cases. |
Too many cooks spoil the broth (suggests that only confusion can result when too many people are involved in decision making e.g. a camel is a horse designed by a committee).
| ||To teach a crocodile to swim. |
Teach your grandmother to suck eggs (warns against the "know-it-all" person who presumes to give advice to those who are more experienced and more knowledgeable).
| ||If you talk, you'll only get a small sum of money. |
Speech is silvern, silence is golden (suggests we consider our words carefully before speaking because, in some cases, it is more profitable to say nothing at all).
| ||To smash the rice pot. |
To take the bread out of one's mouth (means to deprive a person of his livelihood, by competition or otherwise, and also warns against irresponsible parents who deprive their children through self indulgence.
| ||If you love your cow, tie it up; if you love your child, beat him. |
Spare the rod, spoil the child (although no longer recommended to physically punish a child, the proverb suggests everyone benefits from discipline and a sense of order).