Happy Swiss National Day everyone! Over the past year, we have fallen in love with Switzerland, its people and its character. I thought an examination of Swiss proverbs might show something about the Swiss character. Proverbs contain truths about how we think. Not surprisingly, the values expressed by the traditional Swiss proverbs seem pretty much in line with the Swiss national character.
- “Think first, start later.” Yep. They’re deliberate.
- “A clean house is a clean mind.” Our streets and sidewalks are cleaned every morning (except Sunday).
- “It is easier to criticize than to do better.” They are also pretty good at minding their own business.
- “Words are dwarfs, deeds are giants.” In our experience, they don’t want to hear about what you are going to do, but what you have done. Oh yeah, and it better be quantifiable.
- “When in doubt who will win, be neutral.” As the worlds longest running democracy, they’ve gotten rich by staying out of wars.
- “The devil hides himself in details.” They do seem to be very detail oriented. Everything is planned to the n-th degree so that it will run like clockwork (preferably a Swiss timepiece), and it usually does.