The Origin of Proverbs: Who really said that?

It can sometimes be challenging to give credit where credit is due when it comes to quotes and phrases that have passed down over time. When I read or hear a quote that moves me, my curiosity leads me to want to know more about its origin and the context from which it has been lifted.  In fact, some times in that research I have found that the original meaning of the words was quite different from what evolved over time. A testament perhaps to our need to be able to express feelings and thoughts within our own experience and context.  As people share wisdom, that wisdom creates its own trail through time so that the speaker becomes irrelevant and it is the words themselves that seem to take on life.

Today’s offering includes seven proverbs from long ago.  The nationality of the presumed origin for each of these is shown based on how they are now credited.  It’s curious to me to consider these and realize how many have actually been quoted later in history and are attributed to future speakers rather than the original scribe.  I am reminded again that when our desire is to learn, live and teach the truth, we remove ourselves from the equation.  Most likely the original speakers of these words of wisdom mastered that skill as well.

As long as you live, keep learning how to live. (Latin)

A thing is bigger for being shared. (Gaelic)

He that would eat the fruit must climb the tree. (Scottish)

A stumble may prevent a fall. (English)

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. (Italian)

A beautiful thing is never perfect. (Egyptian)

A stream cannot rise about its source. (Africa)

Words that evoke thoughtfulness even today.  Proverbs.  Gifts in words.

 

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