Wisdom in a Nutshell

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt — better late than never, seeing the day is almost done — is the word COMPACT

My mind went to all these marvelous bits of enlightenment that have been squeezed into a few words. Proverbs and adages, if you will.

According to Merriam-Webster, an adage is a saying often in metaphorical form that typically embodies a common observation. They give the example: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

“Least said, soonest mended” is a whole sermon in a nutshell. Great advice for the fellow who’s getting vexed about something and is ready to give the one who’s annoying him a fiery lecture. It’s also good advice when you’re so sure, and ready to accuse someone of some little crime. If it turns out you were wrong, you’ll be very glad you kept quiet.

Another phrase that falls in this category is, “Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you ever regretted.”

“A stitch in time saves nine.” Also a bit of homely wisdom compacted and passed down through the ages. Likewise, “Best make hay while the sun shines.”

“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Be careful when you’re hurling accusations at other people because you might be just as guilty in some area — or even be caught doing the same thing yourself.

“Buy in haste, repent at leisure.” A lesson every purchaser has experienced at some point.

A more recent saying we hear is “Been there, done that.” It’s a very compact way of offering sympathy to someone who’s made a big mistake, fallen into some trap or sorrow, and looked foolish doing it.

And here’s one we’re hearing about frequently, both in brief and at length, during this pandemic: An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.

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