a bird does not sing because it has an answer...

may531028

Senior Member
Chinese
a proverb says: "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."

I wonder what does this proverb imply?
 
  • may531028

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, I guess it means: a bird sings because it just wants to celebrate the goodness of life..., not because it has found a solution for... let's say, social injustice and poverty.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    That's pretty much how I understand it, too. :)

    A bird sings simply because it can sing, not as a solution to anything.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I suppose it would be unromantic to point out that ornithologists think that the main reason why birds sing is to protect their territory. The proverb isn't concerned with, or its authors were ignorant of, scientific accuracy.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suspect the proverb does not take into account the probably-recent knowledge of the function of bird-song.
    Which, now that I read the thread again, is more or less what TT said.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Even if the sentence had been written this morning after breakfast, I don't believe that scientific knowledge has anything to do with it. It's poetry, gentlemen, and a bit of pop-philosophy. Nothing more, nothing less.
     

    Heredianista

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Interesting that someone has posted this question here, as I've been using this quotation as my wordreference signature for some time now. I learned it as a quotation by Maya Angelou, not as a proverb.

    To me, it means perhaps more than I can words here at this time.

    But for a minimalistic answer, I would say that, to me, it means that I do what I do because I am living my truth — not because my truth is more accurate than anyone else's truth.

    And in this sense, birds are, in fact, living their truth when they sing. They are being who and what they are.
     
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