“What does that mean, Grandma?” a very confused Andrew asked.

We had just been discussing whether he should buy tickets for a concert he wanted to attend, and I made the comment, “Better strike while the iron is hot, Andrew.”

Obviously, I was speaking a foreign language. I explained to him, that he should move into action now, while tickets were still available, rather than procrastinate, and later be disappointed when the event was sold out. Maybe I should have texted BTN, and he would have understood my message. (Buy Tickets Now)

Suddenly, l had a light bulb moment. Some of the sayings I grew up with, were no longer used or recognized today. No wonder some of the pearls of wisdom I often offer my family were ignored. They hadn’t the foggiest idea what I was talking about.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been given guidance and direction, whether they wanted it or not, from parents, teachers, and wise old folks. Through their words and behaviours, we learned how to navigate life’s complexities and achieve our goals. Those teachings and expressions from the past, may seem silly and dated with today’s younger generations, but back in my day, their counsel served us well.

I can’t help but smile as I remember the sage advice imparted by my parents. Mom’s classic line, “If someone jumped off a bridge, would you do the same?” was her way of instilling the importance of independent decision-making and resisting peer pressure. And Dad’s no-nonsense reminder, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” instilled in me a sense of financial responsibility and foresight.

Ah, the good old days, when language conveyed realms of insight and lessons were learned. Here are my top 30 pearls of wisdom I occasionally utter to my family.

How many are you familiar with?

Although these idioms are in no particular order, number one is my favourite.

  1. Any job worth doing, is worth doing well.
  2. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
  3. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
  4. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  5. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
  6. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
  7. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  8. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
  9. Early to bed and early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise.
  10. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
  11. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
  12. Keep it under your hat.
  13. The early bird catches the worm.
  14. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  15. It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
  16. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
  17. Don’t cry over spilled milk.
  18. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  19. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
  20. One man’s junk, is another man’s treasure.
  21. Beggars can’t be choosers.
  22. You’re barking up the wrong tree.
  23. It will all come out in the wash.
  24. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
  25. Many hands make light work.
  26. A stitch in time saves nine.
  27. A watched pot never boils.
  28. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  29. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.
  30. Every dog has its day.

As I reflect on these timeless proverbs, I’m struck by their enduring value in guiding us through life’s twists and turns. So, the next time I utter one of these age-old adages, I’ll do so with a sense of pride, knowing that I am passing on not just words, but a legacy of wisdom that has stood the test of time. And who knows, maybe one day, Andrew will look back on our conversation about buying concert tickets and realize that “striking while the iron is hot” wasn’t such a foreign concept after all.