Iris
What does it mean? What you really value is what you miss, not what you have. I'm not sure that I understand this phrase correctly. Does it mean that we only value the things we miss, but we don't value the things we have?
Dec 1, 2014 9:55 AM
Answers · 5
Yes, Iris... you have understood it correctly. It's not that we don't value what we have but that we don't really value them until they are gone and we miss them. Reminds me of a line from one of my favorite songs "Big Yellow Taxi" sung by Joni Mitchell http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jonimitchell/bigyellowtaxi.html "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"
December 1, 2014
Iris, it is a very obscure or unclear meaning. We can refer to it as an ambiguous proverb. Like many "wise" sayings, it is not entirely clear; but this goes a bit further than that. I do not think it has a clear meaning. First, it presumes that you Do---Not---Have the thing that you "really value". Second, it does not tell us the Identity of the thing you "really value". Third, it presumes that you "really value" what you do not have; but that does not really mean anything, because actually, it presumes nobody, anywhere, possesses anything that they "really value". Fourth, it could be generally concluded, that people desire what they do not have, but surely, somebody has something they desire. Fifth. Let's examine an old proverb concerning "possession". "A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush". or "Crap in one hand and THINK in the other, and see which fills up first." It is an unfortunate fact, that there is a part of mankind, who enjoy appearing wise, by publishing confusing and nonspecific statements. A person with a little wit, can compose an endless array of confused and generalized statements to puzzle other people with. There can be wise sayings but there are many which are unclear. There is in fact, an entire genre of literature which uses "generalizations" endlessly. Everything written in the "New Age" books can be said to be "generally" true. That is why there is no specific information in them. I like for my proverbs to be substantial, useful in some practical way. I think it is important to take a bit of care about what "old saws" we pick up to use on our journey through life. .
December 1, 2014
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Iris
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English