Weekend Diversion: Old Wisdom, New Wisdom?

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." -Confucius

I never was any good at taking someone's word for it; I've always been the type of person who wants to learn it for myself, and often that means living it and finding out on my own. This weekend, I'm still reeling from the loss of Magnolia Electric Company's Jason Molina, who died of alcohol abuse earlier this week. I'll remember him best for his heartbreaking vocals and lyrics, particularly at the concert I saw him at back in 2008, where he sang,

Hard To Love A Man.

It's been a rough week in many ways, so I wanted to bring you something lighter this weekend.

Image credit: user ChrisK4u of http://www.flickriver.com/. Image credit: user ChrisK4u of http://www.flickriver.com/.

With contradictory folk wisdoms like "look before you leap" and "he who hesitates is lost" running through our lexicon, all one can do in this crazy world is be as well-informed as possible, and then act in accordance with your best judgment. But what if your experience is very limited; does that make your judgment inferior? I'm not sure; I heard (perhaps apocryphally) a story about a first grade teacher who gave each of her students a well-known proverb (or platitude), and had the students come up with an ending. (We often did things like this when we were in elementary school, so it sounds reasonable to me, even if it turns out not to be true.) Here, allegedly, were the results:

# Beginning of Proverb... New Ending
1. Don't change horses... until they stop running.
2. Strike while the... bug is close.
3. It's always darkest before... Daylight Savings Time.
4. Never underestimate the power of... termites.
5. You can lead a horse to water but.. how?
6. Don't bite the hand that... looks dirty.
7. No news is... impossible.
8. A miss is as good as a... Mr.
9. You can't teach an old dog new... math.
10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll... stink in the morning.
11. Love all, trust... me.
12. The pen is mightier than the... pigs.
13. An idle mind is... the best way to relax.
14. Where there's smoke, there's... pollution.
15. Happy the bride who... gets all the presents.
16. A penny saved is... not much.
17. Two's company, three's... the musketeers.
18. Don't put off till tomorrow what... you put on to go to bed.
19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and... you have to blow your nose.
20. There are none so blind as... Stevie Wonder.
21. Children should be seen and not... spanked or grounded.
22. If at first you don't succeed... get new batteries.
23. You get out of something only what you... see in the picture on the box.
24. When the blind lead the blind... get out of the way.
25. A bird in the hand... is going to poop on you.
26. Better late than... pregnant.

Not bad, children. Not bad. Some of them are clearly superior to their flippant predecessors, especially numbers 8, 13, 16, 21 and 24! Obviously it's somewhat old, since I doubt too many first graders these days know who Stevie Wonder is, but I not only got a kick out of it, but I learned that the "don't change horses midstream" proverb goes back to Abraham Lincoln! Who knew?!

Hope some of these brought a smile to your face, and hope you have a great rest-of-your-weekend!

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Hahaha.. love some of them!! :D Though the last one makes me doubt these are first grader answers. But still some are great! :)

6, 10, 11, 24...haha!! :)

By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 24 Mar 2013 #permalink

p.s. the second image is really great also

By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 24 Mar 2013 #permalink

Funny stuff. This could not be recent as even my 15 year old has no idea who Stevie Wonder is.

By theTentman (not verified) on 24 Mar 2013 #permalink

Yeah, eh, that list is definitely just a joke. But it's great jokes nonetheless!

By James Sweet (not verified) on 02 Apr 2013 #permalink

If at first you don’t succeed… don't let anyone know that you even tried.

A 1st grader wrote #26? Wow... I must say sex ed. is much better than I expected!