Tiny acts of hastiness and evil erupt into big problems causing unnecessary rifts and big lights. It is well-known from our common experience that fire accidents in our households as well as wild fires in forests start from tiny sparks that turn into huge fires.
This is a natural practice generated by the nature of fire and materials that are inflammable. When two parts of dry branches rub against each other in the forest and produce tiny sparks of fire, the forest winds fan the fire further. The fire spreads and consumes the surrounding dry wood and becomes bigger. In the process the surrounding area also gets heated up and other inflammable materials around that fire also catch fire and so the fire gradually becomes bigger and bigger. In a similar way, when dry grass in wild bushes bums up, it will spread wildly over huge areas of grassland killing flora and fauna. Here the tiny spark is the tiny cause and the great fire is the huge effect.
A similar practice is also observed in our social life. For example, when two headstrong or quarrelsome people come together and one of them does something wrong - be it an insult or an aggressive gesture however small it may be — it will produce an opposite reaction from the other person. Here their tendency for harming others (by insult or hurt) is the tiny cause. Since both of them are dry with bad tendencies like the dry wood or grass ready to bum, they pick a quarrel spontaneously and the quarrel turns into a bigger quarrel when their friends also join the hay and the context of their arguments fans the fire of the dispute.
Proverbs of this type are generally used in a negative sense in many languages since fire
denotes something bad and destructive. Just as the tiniest spark can cause a forest fire, the wicked use of the tongue can cause great harm. This proverb should be used appropriately to drive home the point that unnecessary physical or mental or vocal acts of evil, even though they are very insignificant and small, should be avoided at all costs.
We should be careful and cautious in our dealings with others. Even a small quarrel with our neighbours and friends may turn into a life-long enmity and misunderstanding. We should maintain intimate relationship with others so that we life will take a smooth sailing.