The Oldest English Proverb

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The Oldest English Proverb

Written By: Chip Rudolph ~ 1/15/2024

The Oldest English Proverb
This month, we’ll explore some very old English sayings. The first one, thought to be the oldest, appeared in Old English Homilies in 1175 and is still in use today.

BLOGPOST_Patience01152024.jpgYou can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
People do what they want when they want, and in the manner they choose. Even when asking for advice from a friend, relative, or therapist, they govern their own actions. This might be true whether it solves their problem or not.

There are those in our lives that we wish to help because we care. We understand some of the trials and tribulations they endure. It seems clear to us what needs to be done or changed to alter the difficulties. We might give really sound guidance, however, any words we offer are ignored. When our good intentions are met with resistance, heed these words to avoid conflict: The only life we can control is our own.

Lessons in Patience and Quality
The next two sayings spawned many variations through the years.

Patience is a virtue.
William Langland wrote his classic work of the Middle Ages:
The Vision of Piers Plowman in 1370.
Geoffrey Chaucer also mentioned the same saying in his:
The Canterbury Tales in 1386.

Good things come to those who wait.
British poet, novelist, and essayist Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie wrote under the pseudonym name of Violet Fane.
Her poem: Tout Vient A Quyi Sait Attendre - circa 1872.

Over time, many variations have been created and used frequently. Consider the following:

  • All things come to those who wait. ~ Jesse C. Scott
  • Anything worth having is worth waiting for. ~ Anonymous
  • Anything worth having is worth working for. ~ Andrew Carnegie
  • Slow and steady wins the race. ~ Aesop’s Fables
  • The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step. ~ Lao Tzu

BLOGPOST_Patience01152024B.jpgPatience and quality seem to be the common theme. In the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare, the speedy rabbit is not the winner of the race. The tortoise plods his way to the finish line and the prize, while the rabbit takes a nap.

If the time in each stage of the assembly line at the auto factory were totaled, a Toyota would take approximately thirteen hours to complete. On a handcrafted work that is made piece by piece, completion for a Jaguar takes three and one-half months.

Quality cannot be rushed. It takes time. It takes concentration and perseverance.

These lessons are valuable for all of us. Throughout life, we will be challenged in many areas. By following these WORDS OF WISDOM taught through our experts, books, spiritual lessons, and experiences, we will travel the road of peace, accomplishment, and satisfaction.

Share your favorite WORDS OF WISDOM and what they mean to you in leading your ‘best life.’ We would be honored to share your insights in a future blog post.
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