Words To Live By…My Life, Guided By Proverbs

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Growing up in my parents’ household, there was always a lesson to be learned…and my father made sure of it. I remember clearly, many of the lessons he was trying to teach were mainly short little sentences that didn’t always make sense to me as a young boy. However, they were instilled in me time and time again, over and over, burning a spot in my brain.

I always wondered where he came up with these things, and often wondered what many of them actually meant, but he used them often and they stuck with me. My father was a proverb man, and so was my father’s father. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, huh? I looked up to my dad and always thought that he was a really good man, one I always wanted to be like…well, for the most part. I mean…like father, like son, right?

He is a great man indeed. And as they say, behind every great man is a great woman…and my mother stood by every word he said. I mean, a house divided against itself cannot stand, right? I truly believe this, and I hope my wife knows I believe this as well, as I don’t know what I would ever do without her, and don’t know who I would be if it weren’t for her.

Not all of the proverbs my father had used were a mystery to me. Many were self-explanatory but decidedly important nonetheless. I have to say that my dad was a very smart man, savvy with many proverbs. He knew exactly when to use them at just the right times, even if I didn’t understand why in the moment. I would later realize the importance and timeliness of them all. I mean, don’t they say there is a place for everything and everything in its place?

Now, please don’t shoot the messenger, but life isn’t always fun and games…but life is what you make it. I believe I have made a good life for myself and my family, and I have my father’s proverbs…er, lessons to thank. I love my family and I am thankful to have such an amazing one. I’d better think that because you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Am I right? I’m just kidding. I really do love my family to bits. I’m not trying to burn the bridges behind me or count my chickens before they hatch, and I’m definitely not going to bite the hand that feeds me. That would be bad.

Proverbs are fun, aren’t they? One can learn many things with them, and use them in many different situations. I believe that if you use them to teach your own children some lessons, and use them over and over, and often enough, your kids will remember them in the future and be able to use them themselves in their own unique situations. However, you must also learn to practice what you preach, as actions speak louder than words, and talk is cheap. It’s not easy to teach children the lesson of “do as I say, not as I do.” By the way, haven’t you heard that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? This means that you can’t criticize others for faults that you have yourself…a very important proverb to remember as a parent.

Now, let’s talk about the friendships I have built in my life. I have some really interesting and trustworthy friends, even though I only trust them as far as I can throw them. Just kidding. My friends are like family to me, and they help make me who I am today. A person is known by the company he keeps, and my friends and I are as thick as thieves. We are there for each other in times of need, and a friend in need is a friend indeed. We joke around a lot and laugh until we cry, and laughter is the best medicine. We’re honest with each other, knowing that honesty is the best policy. I’ve learned a lot from my friends as well. I mean, you learn something new every day, don’t you?

The constant learning of new things is important to lead a fulfilling life, and you have to start somewhere. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In order to learn, you must ask questions, but ask a silly question and you’ll get a silly answer. Learn as much as you can, but don’t try to walk before you can crawl. I have learned many things from my father, including how to fish. It goes without saying that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. This is the reason my father never really just bought or gave me the things I wanted, but taught me to earn my keep and ways I could earn the things I wanted. He made sure I wasn’t one of those “handed everything on a silver platter” kind of kids. I am truly thankful to him for that. He taught me many things that would last, and still to this day, will last me a lifetime.

This also brings me to the point of explaining the benefits of hard work. Hard work never did anyone any harm and there’s no such thing as free lunch. So if you want lunch, you gotta put in an effort to do some hard work to earn your keep. So if you must work, whatever it is you do, if it is a job worth doing, it’s worth doing it well.

My father and his proverbs also taught me financial lessons that I will not forget. For instance, a penny saved is a penny earned. Even though it took me quite some time to realize the benefits of savings, I still learned the lesson. It took time for me not to be foolish with my money, realizing that a fool and money are soon parted and money doesn’t grow on trees. I guess that in my foolish days, I kept thinking another day, another dollar, but not about where I should put those additional dollars. I guess I was putting all my eggs in one basket, but it was the spending basket instead of the saving basket. But, that lesson was one I learned from experience as I have made my bed and so now I must lie upon it.

I have also come to realize, in life, that money isn’t everything. I mean, you can’t take it with you when you die, right? If you must cheat to make your money, you will not end up living a fulfilling life but will live a life full of regrets instead, as cheaters never win and winners never cheat. You must do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Think about this one as well…a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Let that one sink in a bit. What does it mean? Well, it means that you should think about what you already have, and if it’s worth losing. Sometimes, you should just be content with what you have, and not risk losing it for the chance at something more. That’s an important lesson that many people these days need to pay attention to a little more often.

How about this one? A rolling stone gathers no moss. A person who does not settle in one place or on one thing will not accumulate wealth, status, responsibilities, or commitments. There comes a time when one must just make a decision, and slow down. Take a seat. Take note of your priorities and your passions. Trust me when I tell you that it’s not always a good thing to just be a Jack of all trades, but Master of none. Take the time to look before you leap, and then make an informed decision on if the leap is worth taking a dive for. The intent may be good, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and remember, the grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence.

Be patient in life. Your time will come, and things will turn out all right. Patience is a virtue, my dear reader, and a watched pot never boils. All good things come to he who waits. Also, be humble and grateful for what you’ve been given, as you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, and beggars should not be choosers.

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news and I know that bad news travels fast, but it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Too many people complain way too much about anything and everything, yet do no actual good themselves, not even in the slight, in the face of hopelessness or displeasure. With the onset of social media and the constant need for the attention of others, everyone is quick to complain and ungratefully react in a negative, disagreeable nature whenever they don’t agree with someone else’s viewpoints. One half of the world does not know how the other half lives. It’s okay to disagree, but just let sleeping dogs lie. Let bygones be bygones. There’s a time and place for everything, and disagreements do not need to be made in public. And even if the other person may be in the wrong, two wrongs do not make a right.

Now that my time in this story is coming to end, I understand that there are many other proverbs that have gone unsaid. But that would become a very long story indeed, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I don’t want to bore you. Better safe than sorry, right? I also don’t want to get to the point of changing the story just to add a few more proverbs. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Am I right? Plus, ignorance is bliss. So it is best to be on the safe side and begin winding down. Less is more, so they say, and I guess you can have too much of a good thing as well. You can always do a quick Google search for additional proverbs if you’d like. Seek and ye shall find.

Before I conclude, let me just put a few more things in perspective. Life isn’t always easy or perfect, so when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and when the going gets tough, the tough get going. You can’t just worry about things as worrying never did anyone any good. Remember, in life, you win some, you lose some. Just keep putting your best foot forward, count your blessings, don’t sweat the small stuff, and take your time, as good things come to those that wait. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?

Don’t get down on yourself if something doesn’t go as planned. If at first, you don’t succeed try, try, and try again. Just keep your chin up, live and learn, and never put off until tomorrow what you can do today…but tomorrow is another day.

My dear reader, all good things must come to end and all’s well that ends well, and so this article ends here. Man, time flies, huh? So, how many proverbs was that? Were you counting? Which ones stood out to you like a sore thumb?

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