Ancient Asian Proverbs
The Wisdom of the Orient
Chinese and other Asian proverbs are filled with life experiences and moral meanings from the Orient. In fact, they are probably the most well-recognized of all the ancient proverbs that we hear and quote today.
One person who has been the most influential of these famous proverbs was Confucius, a Chinese philosophical thinker who encouraged personal growth in humanity.
While we're on the subject, it's interesting to note that another type of "proverb" that the Chinese are known for is called a 4 character idiom. Now that doesn't mean four English letters, rather it refers to four Chinese characters that create a philosophical saying, much like a proverb.
Below, you will find a collection of inspiring Asian proverbs from Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other countries that teach many moral lessons.
A Collection of Wise Asian Proverbs
Three feet of ice does not result from one day of freezing weather.
Meaning: All problems and predicaments are not formed without a period of prior events creating it.
The old horse in the stable still yearns to run.
Meaning: Experienced, older people still have a lot to offer and often have ambitions and desires that they wish to accomplish.
On this world there exists no such impossible tasks, they fear only those with perseverance.
Meaning: No task in this world is impossible so long as there are willing, persistent hearts.
A spark can start a fire that burns the entire prairie.
Meaning: Small problems can spread become huge catastrophes. By the same token, a little bit of goodwill or inspirational thought, can spread to influence a large amount of people.
If the roots are not removed during weeding, the weeds will grow again when the winds of Spring blows.
Meaning: To solve a problem, you must deal with the underlying cause that is causing the disruption. Curing the "symptoms" only temporarily hides the problem, but the root is still there to grow again.
I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand. ~ Confucius
Meaning: Tell me and I will most likely forget; show me and I may remember; but allow me to do it myself, and I will understand.
When something has been said, a team of four horses cannot overtake it.
Meaning: Once you have make a promise or say something, you cannot take it back, so speak your words thoughtfully and wisely.
Grow a tree for ten years; grow men for a hundred.
Meaning: Nurturing and educating human talent is the key to prosperity.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Meaning: Although helping people is admirable, teaching them skills so that they can look after themselves is much more practical and commendable.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes. But he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Meaning: You may feel foolish for asking a question, but at least you will most likely learn the answer and be enlightened. Someone who does not ask will lack that knowledge indefinitely.
Even the longest journey must start from where you stand.
Meaning: Related to the Tao Te Ching quote of: "A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step." Everything must have a beginning. It doesn't matter what is past, your first step of the future is always now.
The fish sees the bait, not the hook; a person sees the gain, not the danger.
Meaning: We often, in our excitement, see all the good things that we want to see, and ignore the warning signs that there are problems beneath it.
Point at a deer and call it a horse.
Meaning: Deliberately twisting the truth for ulterior motives.
Covering one's own ears while stealing a bell.
Meaning: Ignoring the facts is only fooling oneself.
Three people can make up a tiger.
Meaning: When a rumor or urban legend is constantly repeated, it takes on a life of its own and soon becomes erroneously accepted as the truth.
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
Meaning: Even though you seem to be failing, don't give up. Most people give up just before they make a breakthrough.
I hope you've enjoyed reading through these interesting and meaningful Asian proverbs. As I find more, I'll be adding them to this page. In the meantime, you may want to visit these related pages as well:
Asian Proverbs That Visitors Have Added
Click the links below to see what other visitors have submitted as their favorite and inspiring Asian proverbs. You can even leave a comment about their submission!
Click here to read Confucius sayings and proverbs.
Click here to go to Life Lesson Quotes.
Click here for a wonderful collection of Chinese sayings and proverbs.
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