Saturday, February 04, 2012

Folk Wisdom

Some sayings that contain more truth than is commonly acknowledged:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
If all else fails, lower your standards.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't.
The shorter the leg, the longer the journey.
Time lost is never found again.
Living well is the best revenge.
Little pitchers have big ears.
All that glitters is not gold.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Nothing is more permanent than the provisional.
Time heals all wounds.
Three men can keep a secret if two of them are dead.
The harder you work, the luckier you get.
Waste not, want not.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Measure twice, cut once.
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Dance as if no one's looking.
It's lonely at the top.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The short path is always mined.
Any port in a storm.
Faint heart never won fair lady.

A few I seriously question:

He who hesitates is lost. [I've found that the one who hesitates is often saved.]
Don't just stand there, do something. [In many cases, standing still is the wisest strategy of all.]
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. [You can go out of business depending on this advice.]
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. [Although sometimes correct, this can result in maintaining the mediocre.]
None of us is as smart as all of us. [Many bright people become dumber in groups.]


TubbyMike said...

A really good list, but the one I find I repeat most often under my breath is "Measure twice, cut once". Probably followed by "Fetch water, chop wood", although not in the same breath.

To keep perspective I think back to biology classes. "If you build a better mousetrap and put it in your house, before long Mother Nature will build a better mouse." It reminds me that we are not outside of nature and that you can't rest on your laurels.

Michael Wade said...


I like that better mouse line!

Good point.


CincyCat said...

I've got a list of "Old Farmer's Advice" on my cube wall... One of my favorites is:

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

Michael Wade said...


As one who has plowed into many a stump, I can agree with that.