Monday, March 30, 2009


When assessing a patient's cognitive function and, more specifically, his or her abstract reasoning ability, a health professional will ask the person to interpret a proverb. For example, she may say to the patient, "Tell me what 'A rolling stone gathers no moss' means". The beauty of humans is we each have our own perceptions and perspectives. Here are some proverbs and interpretations:

Proverb: "Some people don't see the light until they feel the heat."


Some people need to warm up by the wood stove before they can turn on the lights.

Proverb: "A rolling stone gathers no moss."


It's too busy rolling to gather moss; and, what with all the texts and e-mails it has to answer, it's darn lucky it has time even to roll!

Proverb: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."


Well, duh!! It'll get hurt!!!!

Proverb: "A stitch in time saves nine."


Time gets hurt? How can it get one stitch let alone nine? And what's this bit about saving? That relates to money. Whoever wrote this is surely mixing metaphors!

Proverb: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."


I don't think anyone can begin to make a statement about this without checking market prices first.

Proverb: "Don't throw stones in glass houses."


Well, duh!! Glass breaks!!

Proverb: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."


Unless you're a venture capitalist right now.

So these are the small offerings that could be gleaned from the myriad possible interpretations of these proverbs. The human response is interesting in life, the Universe, and everything.

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