Chinese Proverb: Sow Seeds Before Rain

Informant is a 53 year-old Chinese female. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, where she used to work as a farmer. She now lives in Southern California.

Informant: This proverb, “Sow Seeds Before Rain” means that you need to plan ahead. Sow the seeds before it rains, so that after it rains, your crops will have grown, and you won’t have to worry about lacking water or working in the rain.

Collector: What does this mean to you?

Informant: Without foresight, you will always run into problems. If you don’t have a future plan, you will always focus on the present, short term, problems. It means that a person will live in the problems of every day life because he is only solving the temporary problems, without knowing what’s the long term plan or focus. You can take life or business for an example. You need to have a plan–What should I do in five years? What will happen in 10 years? You need to see personal growth and development.

Collector: Do you like this saying?

Informant: Yes, I like this saying, because it’s something that I live by. A person needs to have a plan for their life, what their goals are. Even for businesses, you need to plan ahead, and can’t always focus on the small tasks and forget the larger tasks. This is very important to the development and growth the a person, business, and even nation.

I think that the informant did a good job of explaining the meaning of this proverb. It’s a philosophical way to approach life and reach one’s full potential as a human being. This proverb is reflective of the attitudes of people who aspire to be successful in the fields they choose.