Modern Day Proverbs

It’s amazing to think, as many scholars argue, that the Book of Proverbs originates from ordinary people, whose sayings were collected by scribes in Jerusalem and eventually became part of the Bible. Proverbs, both religious and secular, are sayings we humans live by, and which we formulate while living. W. H. Auden compiled a book of them spanning all of world history, while others like Ben Franklin wrote many of his own.

For awhile now, I’ve wanted to ask my own friends and acquaintances for theirs. And I’ve now done so. Some broad and reaching out towards all of life, others very specific in detail. Some are original, and others are handed down to us. All of them have been tried and found true. They span from our daily tedium to our deepest spiritual searching, from our life in business or society to the rhythms of home and heart. Without further ado, I present this list of modern day proverbs:

Terrance Simmons

“Life is short and unpredictable, but more unpredictable than short.”

Jack Fischer

“Be consistent.”

“There’s a lot of good in most people, it just takes a little effort to find it.”

Caroline Bernard

“Time heals most things.”

“Someday we’ll all be together again.”

“When you share sorrow God cuts it in half. When you share joy God doubles it.”

Ken Jones

“I choose a sound mind over an open mind any day.”

Jenny Ginsberg

“One cannot hoot with the owls by night and soar with the eagles by day. We have to make choices which serve us best.”

John O’Brien

“To have order in the soul and to be the director of ones own life, that is happiness.”

“Work’s work. Don’t love it but have to do it. Wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t.”

“Joy is a byproduct. We are always joyful about something.”

Alanna Mahon

“May my desire to love ever outweigh my hunger to be heard.”

“Lord, help me to love what You have created.”

Chris Johns

“Lies live.”

“Rivers can’t be rushed.”

“As Heraclitus said, the way up is the way down. That’s true of life, and also literally true of a hill.”

Pat Jones

“If you start living inside the computer, the computer will start living inside you.”

Diane Boateng

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Everyone deserves a chance.”

“Hope is not a strategy. Hope alone is like having gas and a key to a car, but nobody to drive the distance.”

Gerald Dean

“Looking at the evils of this life, it is often more holy to sigh than to speak.”

Dane Connelly

“Think before you ask. Try to answer your question on your own before asking another person.”

“Sweat the small stuff.”

Lisa Rudolph

“Kindness matters”

Nick Saunders

“Without integrity a man has nothing.”

Nicolasa Chavez

“The ground is firmer after the rain.”

Frank Black

“Our prayer and worship is not about how wonderful we are, but how amazing God is to keep putting up with us!”

Catherine McClellan

“No matter what happens, we are still God’s son or God’s daughter.”

Rebecca Mattson

“The one thing that always gets me through is repeating over and over again, Jesus I trust in you.”

Zeph Swope

“Life is good, son, if you don’t weaken.”

Sue Blair

“Always remember, it’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.”

Chris Johnson

“Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I together can’t handle.”

Larry Koogan

“Many people deny God just to have more sex.”

Patrick Mansfield

“It only takes one yes. Be persistent.”

Josh Lim

“A gourd that leaks inside the house also leaks outside the house.”

Ronnie Wheeler

“There is a certain wisdom in life found only in man and only in woman, which they may learn only from one another.”

Patty Ellis

“Joy is found in loving God, family, and friends. Let us rejoice and dance in the light of the Lord, sharing this joy with everyone, everyday.”

Bill Danaher

“Remember the five B’s: Be brief, brother, be brief.”

Bill Mautino

“Peoples is peoples.”

“Blessed are the flexible for they shall bend and not break.”

“A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”

“Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.”

Celeste Bell

“No divas.”

James Peychaud

“The questions we ask in our head often result with answers in the heart.”

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Fr. Timothy Danaher is a priest at St. Patrick's Church in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he studied Theology and American Literature. He entered the Order of Preachers in 2011, and has worked primarily in hospital and Hispanic ministries.

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