For ages, wise men and women have been providing the world with insight about the intricacies of life. The impact of these words have made lives easier, hearts happier, and souls fuller. Many people find a certain proverb that speaks to them intensely, making sense of moments and providing clarity into their path through life. Others study these wise words with extreme scrutiny, trying to disprove the power of word and the impact it can have on individuals.
Whether you are looking for inspiration, need an uplifting moment in life, or simply want to know some of life’s best time tested hacks, then check out eight of Tanzania’s top Proverbs:
- Do not mend your neighbor’s fence before looking to your own.
- Interpretation: Influenced by the farm country, referencing run down and broken fences throughout the land, this proverb focuses on the importance of tending to one’s self before helping others. Understanding that before you can truly take care of someone else, you must learn to take care of yourself.
- A sheep cannot bleat in two different places at the same time.
- Interpretation: Offering insight into the fact that one must deal directly with their lives and what is in front of them first. One cannot be in two places at once.
- Events follow one another like the days of the week.
- Interpretation: Hinting towards the fact that life will continue just as the sun rises and falls each day, giving one hope for change.
- Even the night has ears.
- Interpretation: Cautioning that even when you think no one is there or listening, your actions are always accounted for and witnessed. Similar to the saying, “if walls could talk,” this proverb warns that you never know who is in the dark listening.
- Everything has an end.
- Interpretation: Providing hope to those suffering from pain or loss, while also cautioning those full of happiness and love. Change is inevitable.
- We start as fools and become wise through experience.
- Interpretation: Time provides experience, wisdom, and understanding.
- Do not make a dress for the baby before the child is born.
- Interpretation: Another precautionary tale that focuses on getting ahead of yourself before the right time is at hand. Understanding that living in the future is not living your life as you know it as well as neglecting the now.
- In the world, all things are two and two.
- Interpretation: Offering insight into the duality of life and that everyone has their own perspective on things. For example, one man’s trash could be another man’s treasure depending on your personal point of view.
- If you refuse the elder’s advice you will walk the whole day.
- Interpretation: Encouraging the youth to be prudent when following wise advise to avoid suffering and self destruction.
- One who bathes willingly with cold water doesn’t feel the cold.
- Interpretation: This proverb focuses on dealing with pain, fear, and day to day struggles; explaining that when one willingly explores and experiences arduous emotions and situations, they no longer have an effect on them.
Over centuries wise men and women have been teaching the world about life, offering guidance, and helping us learn about the ups and downs of existence. Learning how to deal with love, hate, happiness, and sadness is all part of our experience as human beings. So next time you read a Tanzanian proverb, take a moment to really contemplate what the wise words are saying, and you might just find solace in that moment.