I own the Dictionary of American Proverbs. It was a gift, given to me by my father as a consolation gift for never having been confirmed, even when all of my friends were doing it and I was feeling very left out… at least, more than usual. My father told me that confirmation was mostly about forcing kids to read the bible and grasping the Christian “fresh start” philosophy. He said fresh starts were for pussies and that the bible was long and a terrible bore that I should only have to suffer in my later years, if only just for knowing more than the people who claim to live by it’s words. Lessons on making friends, brought to you by my dad.
My father told me that most of the proverbs found in this book could easily serve as Cliff’s Notes for the bible, and the other included proverbs, which are mostly vintage quotes from famous Anglo-Saxon political figures and statesmen, are akin to hearing the tired words spoken by any typical God-fearing Reverend. Great! Also, when I’m at a loss for inspiration, which is basically how I wake up in the morning, my father advised me to comb the pages of this fine collection of homespun American philosophy. He said I would always find motivation inside this patriotic novelty. And he was right.
The categories are arranged alphabetically, from ABILITY to ZEAL. I usually just open the book and read the first thing I see.
Today, for example:
The best man stumbles.
It is a good man that never stumbles.
Hmph. Okay, I guess. But I decided to look further…
The tongue is boneless but it breaks bones.
That doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, I’m pretty sure there are some other things involved… and something about how words will never hurt or break anything, according to my mom. Next!
There are no more islands.
Hopes delayed hang the heart upon tenderhooks.
Every change makes the favorite of fortune anxious.
Don’t get so anxious that you kill yourself.
Good one, Dad.