Proverbs: Twitter-Sized Bites of Wisdom


Do a good deed and throw it into the sea. – Egyptian proverb“Do a good deed and throw it into the sea.” – Egyptian

“The death of an elder is like a burning library.” Ivorian

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” Arabic

“A thief believes everybody steals.” unknown origin

“A clear conscience is a soft pillow.”  German

“A lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on.” French

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek

“The big thieves hang the little ones.” Czech

“What you see in yourself is what you see in the world.” Afghan

“If you sit in a hot bath, you think the whole town is warm.”  Yiddish

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” Chinese

“What you give you get, ten times over.” Yoruban

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great wings across the sky.” Ojibway


A long-forgotten adage can rise into our awareness at an opportune moment and we hear it as if for the first time. Please share sayings that have stuck with you in the comments.


14 thoughts on “Proverbs: Twitter-Sized Bites of Wisdom

  1. My current favourite is ‘Phambili ngesibonelo’, which is a Zulu proverb meaning ‘Lead by example’. But I’ve always loved ‘The cobbler’s child always goes barefoot’ and ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “The death of an elder is like the burning of a library” is particularly potent! Imagine what all we’ve lost because we didn’t find the time to sit at their feet?

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  3. I love these bites of wisdom. Other people’s wise words preserved & shared are gifts to us… postcards of wisdom mailed to us often on the wings of synchronicity… just when we need them.
    Maybe that’s why I share some on my blog blurb & page, and usually at least one in each blog post… and on Facebook, Pinterest, sometimes on Instagram posts.
    In my wallet I have these:
    “There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough. From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary.” ~ Emmanuel
    “Remember you must die.” Muriel Spark, “Remember you must live.” Ali Smith ~ Lighthousekeeping, Jeanette Winterson
    My top three:
    “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” ~ Dalai Lama
    “You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f*^k on.” ~ Tupac Shakur
    “You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.”
    ~ Colonial American Proverb
    Which sort of fits my favourite of those you shared “What you see in yourself is what you see in the world.” Afghan

    Liked by 3 people

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