folk metaphor
Folk speech

Circassian Metaphor

Someone asked a Circassian Elder, “Which is more important, to love, or to be loved?”

He replied, “Which wing is more important for the bird, the left wing or the right wing?”

Background information: This is a Circassian metaphor, or more broadly, folk speech. The informant heard it from her mother.

Context: The informant told me this metaphor in a conversation about folklore.

Thoughts: This is a nice little metaphor, comparing love and the wings of a bird. It shows how the importance of both loving and being loved goes hand-in-hand. They must coexist, and one is not necessarily more important than the other – they’re both equally important in this life.

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