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Words of Wisdom: Chinese Proverbs VI

How many times have you heard not to wait until the last minute to finish something? It’s common sense to see projects through and prepare for any unforeseen setbacks. Yet, there are countless people that ignore these words of wisdom. What other Chinese proverbs have you heard before? This article shares a few that speak of being resourceful and the value of making people independent.

“Things of today, accomplished today.”

This proverb encourages people to not put off what can be finished today until tomorrow.

“Know yourself and know your enemy, a hundred battles and you won’t be drained.”

This proverb suggests that if you not only yourself, but the ins and outs of your enemy, you are capable of besting your opponent without suffering any losses. Basically, you should know the limitations of your enemies, as well as of your own. How far are you willing to go to achieve a victory?

“Those who help themselves, God will help.”

“One doesn’t do, then the two don’t rest.”

This proverb promotes people finishing what they have started no matter what it takes.

“Left and right can always cross the river source.”

This meaning of this proverb is that a man who is resourceful will know how to avoid the situations that can place him at a disadvantage.

“Don’t do bad deeds, don’t afraid of ghosts knocking.”

If you do good things in life, you will go to bed with a clear conscience. Ghosts refer to the nightmares that can occur in the middle of the night.

“Break the cauldrons, sink the boats.”

This proverb means that you should fight until you can’t fight any longer.

“Whoever suckles me milk is my mother.”

The proverb is used to refer to a person that is of no honor, as they will gravitate to those who they can benefit from. Another version of this saying is, “licks the hand of anyone who throws a few crumbs.”

“Father’s debt, son to give back.”

The meaning of this proverb is that each generation will collect off of what the former generation has accumulated.

“Teach a man to take a fish is not equal to teach a man how to fish.”

Another way of saying this proverb is that you can give a man a fish that feeds him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you can feed him for a lifetime. Basically, the best help is when you show people how to become independent.