The Chinese word for “crisis” is the character for danger in front of the character for opportunity.
This means that a crisis brings both danger and opportunity.
No sooner has one pushed a gourd under water than another pops up.
A common saying that describes having one crisis after another.
One who does not burn incense when all is well, but clasps Buddha’s feet when in trouble.
An expression used to describe someone who calls on you only when in a crisis.
Criticism must be used lightly. A gentle wind kindles, while a strong wind kills the fire.
One who hears flattery, but not criticism, will go astray.
The one who snores the loudest will fall asleep first.
One who criticizes is often oblivious to his own faults.
One who blows fur to find the scar underneath.
Used of a person who loves to find fault and will look in the most hidden places to uncover flaws.
Those who need advice most will accept it least.
Some situations are not open for criticism. There are times when only those intimately involved know where to improve.
Good advice is like bitter medicine.
Opening a wound to treat it could create a new injury.
A known enemy is dangerous, but a false friend is worse.
Don’t be a tiger’s head with a snake’s tail.
A strange combination used to describe someone who presents an important front with no substance behind it.
Do not increase the size of your face by beating your cheeks swollen.
A proverb used to describe those who, trying to impress others, puff themselves up.
If the top beam is crooked, all the rest will not be straight.
A saying used to refer to corruption or bribery in government or large companies.
Deception is often not worth the price one pays.
One becomes double-minded from suspicion and guilt.
Deceptive people find it difficult to believe others.
A paper tiger cannot bear close scrutiny.
This means that the threat is frightening only from a distance; it is ineffective when viewed up close.
He who digs a hole for another may fall in himself.
One who is as disappointing as an empty dumpling.
This is used of someone who makes empty promises or fails to live up to expectations.
Do not be caught with dye on the fingers.
A warning to those who might be caught stealing or taking a bribe.
Defeat teaches us life’s most valuable lessons.
Defeat is never final unless we accept it.
To be unhappy over what one lacks is to waste what one already possesses.
Avoid defeat and you will avoid success.
A tiny leak will eventually sink a mighty ship.
Defeat is often the result of a lack of foresight.
Small errors can lead to defeat. Focusing on the details can keep one on course.
A drowning person will not be troubled by a little rain.
Diligence and constancy of purpose achieve the impossible.
A man of leisure will never taste the fruit of success.
To chop a tree quickly, spend twice the time sharpening your
One who is tripped by the foot can get up again.
One who is tripped by the tongue may not.
Think before you speak, and do not speak all that you think.
Mastering discretion is greater than employing eloquence.
Knowing when to speak is more important than being an eloquent speaker.
Discretion is more precious than great learning.
For the love of money, truth falls silent.
Silence as well as discretion can be bought.
If the arm is broken, hide it in the sleeve.
To rise high, conceal ambition.
Nothing is as heavy as a secret.
Even the powerful ox has no defense against flies.
An idle story can quickly become fact in the mouths of hundreds.
Unfortunately, our worst moments garner the most discussion.
One who mounts a tiger can never get off.
Once you enter politics, it is difficult to exit.
The larger one’s roof, the more snow it will collect.
One of the prices of prosperity is the difficult job of managing one’s reputation.
Compliments are easier to give than criticism— ponder both.
Hearing about something one hundred times is not worth seeing it once.
Two hands should be twice as busy as one tongue.
Shovel the snow only from your own doorstep. Do not mind the frost forming on your neighbor’s roof.
Do not lay a corpse at someone else’s door.
Do not drag others into troubles that do not concern them.
Truth must take the straight road, while lies travel on the wind.
The state of the nation is reflected in the home.
If each home is strong, so will the country be.
Once one is a teacher, one becomes a parent for life.
The Chinese believe that the responsibility of a teacher is the same as that of a parent.
Govern a family as you would fry a small fish: very, very carefully.
Wherever one finds comfort can be called home.
The lamb kneels to suckle.
A favorite expression describing filial piety gratitude, and respect for one’s parents.
A pearl from an old oyster.
A saying about a precious offspring born to someone who is almost past childbearing age.
If one is in harmony with his family, he has found the secret of success.
Better a hundred foes outside the home than one enemy within.
One generation plants the trees for the next generation to enjoy the shade.
Man can cure a multitude of illnesses, but not fate.
Often one finds destiny just where one hides to avoid it.
Fate is influenced by good deeds.
It is said that the good deeds of one generation can influence the fate of the next. If one in need is helped by a good Samaritan, another may observe, “Your parents must have been very kind to others to have paved your path so smooth.”
A bridge never crossed is like a life never lived.
A person’s character will determine his destiny.
Fire does not produce fire. Eventually it reduces all to ashes.
One should not overwork or burden himself.
Chinese proverbs are particularly insightful and therefore smart to use. I here describe such proverbs related to Chinese people. Enjoy these Chinese Proverbs which are given above the page.