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26 Proverbs to Ignite Wisdom in Your Life

What do you get when you package the collective wisdom of people into a phrase? A proverb. The following proverbs are a collection of proverbs from most regions in the world. As you read them, see if any given proverb inspires you to change something, to widen your perspective, or simply to enjoy the wisdom civilizations have passed down to us! Here are the 26 proverbs to ignite wisdom in your life:

1. “The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”

– Native American proverb

2. “So long as mists envelop you, be still. Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists – as it surely will. Then act with courage.”

– Native American proverb

3. “Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

– Native American proverb

4. “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the Sunset.”

– Native American proverb

5. “The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.” 

– Native American proverb

6. “A beautiful thing is never perfect.”

– Egyptian proverb

7. “In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.”

– Nigerian proverb

8. “What you help a child to love can be more important than what you help him to learn.”

– African proverb

9. “Do not forget what is to be a sailor because of being a captain yourself.”

– Tanzanian proverb

10. “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

– African proverb

11. “Make some money but don’t let money make you.”

– Tanzanian proverb

12. “Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living.”

– Ibo proverb

13. “He who gets close to a good tree will have good shade.”

– Mexican Proverb

14. “Tell me who you spend time with, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

– Mexican proverb

15. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

– Japanese proverb

16. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

– Chinese proverb

17. “Dig the well before you are thirsty.” 

– Chinese Proverb

18. “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” 

– Chinese Proverb

19. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

– Chinese Proverb

20. “If you plan for one year, plant rice. If you plan for ten years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, educate mankind.” 

– Chinese Proverb

21. “Some men go through a forest and see no firewood.” 

– English proverb

22. “A little fire that warms is better than a big fire that burns.” 

– Irish proverb

23. “Three best to have in plenty – sunshine, wisdom and generosity.”

– Irish Proverb

24. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” 

– Norwegian Proverb

25. “Those who wish to sing always find a song.”

– Swedish proverb

26. “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”

– Russian proverb


Check out the following websites for more information about proverbs:

Native American Proverbs

African Proverbs

Irish Proverbs

Chinese Proverbs


Juan F. Diaz

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