In many American movies, you will come across one of characters would say, “There’s old Chinese saying…”.
For instance in the 2006 road movie “Old Joy”which is about two friends, Kurt and Mark, who reunite together for a weekend camping trip; and they talk about loss, alienation and friendship.
There is a scene where Kurt shares with Mark a Chinese proverb: “Sorrow is …. is told “Sorrow is just worn out joy”.
Personally I love to collect and read all sorts of great life quotes, proverbs or sayings; especially those shorter ones which are creatively composed.
Rather than wasting my time reading some of those long-winded motivational books stuffed with unnecessary supporting stories (many of which I suspect them to be fictional),
I prefer to read and reflect over selected inspirational quotes, sayings or proverbs about life.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite selected Chinese sayings and proverbs about life which I would like to share with you.
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
“Outside noisy, inside empty”
“It is the beautiful bird which gets caged”
“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people”
“One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade”
“Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come”
“Do not anxiously hope for that which is not yet come; do not vainly regret what is already past”
“To forget one’s ancestor’s is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root”
“To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish”
“He who depends on himself will attain the greatest happiness.”
“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same”
“I dreamed a thousand new paths. . . I woke and walked my old one.”
“If you don’t want anyone to know it, don’t do it”
“Men trip not on mountains, they trip on molehills”
“Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.”
“The palest ink is better than the sharpest memory”
“Just as tall trees are known by their shadows, so are good men known by their enemies”
“Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them”
“After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless”
“A fool judges people by the presents they give him.”
“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion”
“When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy”
“Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding”
“The error of one moment becomes the sorrow of a whole life”
“Pleasure for one hour, a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage; but pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.”
“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself”
“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.”
“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”
“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names”
“Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly”
“When we have nothing to worry about we are not doing much, and not doing much supplies us with plenty of future worries”
“Of all the stratagems, to know when to quit is the best”
“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
“A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.”
“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one.”
“What Meng says about Ming tells more about Meng than Ming.”
“Rather be a dog in peaceful times, than a man in troubled times.”