by William White, MA
Proverbs are the daughters of experience. (Rwandan proverb)
Knowledge that can be brought to bear on the recovery experience can be drawn from diverse cultural traditions. Such knowledge is often conveyed as metaphors, slogans, or proverbs. Below are a few examples drawn from the traditional wisdom of Africa. Where available, its origins within Africa are noted.
On the Value of Persistence and Incremental Steps
By trying often, the monkey learns to jump from the tree. (Buganda)
By crawling a child learns to stand.
To run is not necessarily to arrive. (Swahili)
If you are building a house and a nail breaks, do you stop building or do you change the nail? (Rwanda)
He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured. (Ethiopia)
What is inflated too much will burst into fragments. (Ethiopia)
The fool speaks, the wise man listens. (Ethiopia)
Projection of Blame
He who cannot dance will say, “The Drum is bad.” (Ashanti)
He who is unable to dance says that the yard is stony. (Masai)
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