If you refuse the advice of an elder you will walk until sunset.

If you refuse the advice of an elder you will walk until sunset.

If you refuse the advice of an elder you will walk until sunset.

The basic meaning of the African proverb is that consulting the elders’ help people remember and learn from their history and roots. This proverb describes a typical situation when a person does something wrong. The person is given advice by his or her elders…but neglects this advice. Sometimes the person is not aware of what he or she is doing. The end result is to get into trouble. The person regrets having not taken the elders advice.

This Kuria proverb also teaches our society to adhere to the advice given by the elders. It is assumed that the elders in our African society have seen a lot of events in the past and present so that they can judge more correctly. This experience of the elders is used to advise youth on a variety of issues. Thus one major reason for the misfortunes of young people is that they reject the good advice given by parents, teachers and our society at large.

The famous story of the prodigal son in Bible is a good example of this proverb. In the story the elder son is hard-working but the younger son due to his bad influences takes his share of property and he spends it lavishly and soon becomes a pauper. This happened due to the reason that he did not heed to his father’s advice. So we should always respect the wisdom of the older people and try to follow them.

Knowledge is power.

This familiar and often used proverb clearly states that knowledge that gained through learning or hearing or through experience is the most powerful one that one has to acquire rather than mighty i.e. the physical strength. Everyone should put forth his efforts to get the knowledge to achieve anything in life. There are so many sayings highlighting mighty, wealth and knowledge. Among these three, knowledge is the most powerful one. It helps and makes one to conquer everything.

The mighty show their physical strength but at times they fail to react according to the circumstances. The wealthy can buy and get everything out of their wealth but they have to lean on the knowledgeable personalities. But the knowledgeable persons can achieve and conquer everything with his aptitude and behavior. When a crucial situation arises, it is the knowledge that gives a tactful idea to overcome it. One can win even the plot of spinning webs to capture. The Tamil Poet and Sage Thiruvalluvar say that knowledgeable person is respected with reverence wherever he goes. Moreover when we impart knowledge to others, it gets multiplied in us whereas the mighty and wealth don’t.

Tenali Raman was a jester in Krishna Deva Raya kingdom. He was a favorite of the king for his knowledge. So he had much liberty. One day, however, he gave unintentional offence to the king. He was at once condemned to death. Tenali Raman pleaded for his life. As he was favorite, the king told him to choose the kind of death he wanted. The clever Tenali Raman replied, “Your Majesty, I want to die at my old age". The king laughed and was pleased and appreciated Tenali Raman’s sense of humour and wit.

The knowledge makes a man immortal through his wise doings. Among everything knowledge is powerful and a must to be acquired.

If you refuse the advice of an elder you will walk until sunset.


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