Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs by Theodora Lau

Sometimes books I read or receive just get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. I am sure this never happens to you, but sometimes I just am not that organized. But I am trying this year to improve catch myself when books get lost.

One such book is Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs by Theodora Lau.  Here is the publiser blurb:

“By filling one’s head instead of one’s pocket, one cannot be robbed.”

The appeal of Chinese proverbs is profound and universal. With brevity, clarity, and simplicity, these carefully chosen words help pass wisdom and insight throughout the ages. This timeless, eloquent collection of proverbs offers fundamental truths about the natural world and the human condition, on subjects such as:

Ability • Adversity • Beauty • Chracter • Conflict

Cooperation • Deception • Defeat • Fortune • Greed • Happiness

Honor • Inspiration • Knowledge • Leadership • Love

Moderation • Necessity • Neighbors • Obstinacy • Opportunity

Perseverance • Pride • Sincerity • Strategy • Success

Thought • Trust • Victory • Wisdom • And More

And really there is not much else to add to that.  If you have an interest in China or just enjoy Chinese Proverbs (or pithy insights in general) then this is the kind of book you will want.

It is attractively designed – including traditional calligraphy with a pronunciation key – and laid out by subject as noted above.  It is a handy book to have on the coffee table or to dip into when the mood strikes.  It is also handy if you are looking for a particularly apt quote to use to introduce a subject; a creative twist on quotable quotes.

Here are a couple of my favorites so far:

  • “First attain skill; creativity comes later.”
  • “Fashion is a tyrant who dictates never-ending change.”
  • “That which is beautiful is not always good.  But that which is good is always beautiful.”
  • “Often one finds destiny just where one hides to avoid it.”
  • “Pleasure cannot be pursued to its limit, for pleasure could also be a fountain of sorrow.”

Do you have a favorite saying or proverb?  If so leave in the comments.  If not, check out this handy collection.  Who knows you might learn something . . .

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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