Truth is, I don’t know what ‘they’ say — and furthermore, just who is this elusive, illustrious ‘they’ to whom so much brilliance is attributed? Really, who wouldn’t want the credit for these gems?????????
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!
When it rains, it pours!
If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
If the shoe fits, wear it!
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!
Such profundity demands the exclamatory punctuation, right? Life and its lemons. We can’t avoid the pitfalls, the heartaches, the jerks. Skidding on the lemon peels strewn in our path, we call for help from someone who’s ‘been there, done that’ — and what do we get? The wisdom of ‘they, who say.’ Adages meant to help that don’t help at all:
A bad penny always turns up.
All that glitters is not gold.
You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.
Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
No pain, no gain.
Gah! I appreciate the effort, I suppose, and certainly some notable brilliance has been passed down through the ages. Solomon’s wisdom holds up. Shakespeare’s too. From the wise King we learn that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1: 7) and from the Bard, “the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” (As You Like It). Solomon and Shakespeare — no anonymity there. I tend to trust the sagacious more when the name of the sage tags along for the ride. But, for some, well, you know what they say…
Ignorance is bliss.