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Words of Wisdom 知恵の言葉

Today I want to focus on proverbs. The dictionary defines proverb as “A short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.”


I’d like to take a look at the man who has his portrait on the $100 bill, Benjamin Franklin.


He published his proverbs in his annual handbook called Poor Richard's Almanack. This book contain(s?) information including things like weather patterns and crop yield. Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, inventor, diplomat, and writer just to name a few of his professions.

フランクリンさんは年刊の「Poor Richard's Almanack」お手本にいくつかのことわざを出版しました。この本には気象や農業での作物収量などについて色々書かれています。フランクリンさんは科学者、発明者、外交官、そして作家でもありました。

Let's get into some of his sayings and one that is often credited to him.


“Well done is better than well said.”

Here we see that Franklin was advocating the practice of taking action rather than just talking over a matter. Actions speak louder than words is an idiom that works well with this proverb.


“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander Time; for that’s the Stuff Life is made of.”

What is our life but a sum of time that has been given to us. To waste time means that we do not love the life that we have.


“Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.”

To do nothing when you notice something bad happens means that you do not value what is good. As a result people will do bad because there is no reason to stop. This in turn does little to encourage people to take opportunities to do good.


“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

This is another saying that is often attributed to Franklin, but was in use years before Benjamin Franklin was even around. That said, it was published in Poor Richard’s Almanack, hence why many think it belongs to him. So what does it mean? Simply put going to bed early and resting when the sun is down is how the body rests best, and waking with the rising of the sun will lead to success in all parts of life.

最後のことわざはよくフランクリンさんが作ったものと思われています。ただ、フリンクリンさんが生まれる前からすでに使われていたことわざです。ただし、「Poor Richard's Almanack」に出版されているので、多くの人はフランクリンさんのことわざだと思い込んでいます。さあ、意味は何でしょう?単純に、早く寝て日が暮れてから休むことが体に一番効果的な休みかたで、日の出と一緒に起き上がることが人生の様々な成功に繋がるという意味です。 Thank you for reading and I hope you were able to learn something new. In the next blog let's return to learning more about English grammar.



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