Seven Chinese proverbs on life and success
Translated by Elpida Dalietou
It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. A cradle of civilization with traditions withstanding the test of time. An integral part of the Chinese culture and wisdom are its proverbs, travelling the length and breadth of the world throughout the centuries.
“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”
Every person that comes into our lives affects us, especially while we are young. Some more and some less than others, some in a positive and some in a negative way. That’s how we form some of our beliefs earlier on. These people also play a role in shaping our personality.
“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
Sometimes, we have to face several difficulties in our lives. Instead of just whining and moaning about them, it’s much more effective to actually take action and try to ameliorate the situation. Humans must always find a way to survive.
“When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, while others build windmills.”
In addition to the aforementioned difficulties, we also have to go through changes. How we deal with them is up to us. We have to stay flexible and adaptable in order for change to have a positive effect on us instead of giving us a headache.
“Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.”
If you really want something, sitting on the fence is not enough. You have to chase it, strive for it, fight for it. Most of the time, you’ll have to dive deeper and more than once, especially if it’s a pearl you’re after!
“A true warrior, like tea, shows their strength in hot water.”
Indeed, it’s usually the most difficult and painful of situations that bring out our real selves. Our endurance and mental strength usually surprise us, because they never had to come to the surface ever before. Thus, I would say that these are the moments that bring us closer to who we truly are.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
When we’re angry, in more cases than not, we get a little bit carried away. We throw out bitter words that we don’t essentially mean and we do things that we instantly regret. That’s why it’s beneficial to not let our anger get the best of us, but wait for the storm to pass so that we can think about it calmly.
“If you don’t want anyone to find out about it, then don’t do it!”
Why would you want to do something that you’d later want to hide later on, or that would cause you feelings of guilt and shame? This alone shows that you’re already aware that you’re about to do something bad, something you won’t benefit from. Besides, there’s a moment of revelation for everything. So, spare yourself from this type of situation. Just don’t do it.
Proverbs are the essence of a culture’s philosophy. A valuable treasure hides behind those few words that, if you make it your own, you’ll avoid lots of mistakes and it will make your life much easier. Of course, there aren’t only the Chinese proverbs: every culture has its own, waiting to be discovered!
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