Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Pro+Verb


By Erika Dyk

“By learning the old, we learn the new.” –Chinese Proverb

Wisdom in a sentence or two, a proverb wraps time-tested advice in a neat package to be applied to the messiness of life.

In my completely “unscientific” word dissection, I noticed something about that word, that proverb word.

Pro + Verb = Proverb

Pro = expert
Pro = for

Verb = linking (denoting being)
Verb = action

Using this “word dissection” logic, proverbs are expert ways of being and acting that are for our good.

Returning to time-tested proverbs gives us a wise framework to structure our teaching and learning. 

In my learning/teaching journey, I find myself returning to the following two proverbs often. 

 “Teachers open the door, but you must enter yourself.” {Chinese Proverb}

The concept of teachers opening a door is one of my favorite education proverbs. The idea is the same as the more local vernacular of “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

Teachers can only do so much in the classroom and the students must do their part to learn, to enter the proverbial learning house, to drink the proverbial educational water. I need reminding of this.

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” {Japanese Proverb}

This is another favorite proverb. I often need to be reminded that falling really is an opportunity to stand and often to stand more firmly. Falling does not feel good, but it is a learning opportunity and a moment to cultivate perseverance. 

What are some of your favorite proverbs? Why? I invite you to share in a comment.

May you have a wise day today.