Background: My friend, ZK, comes from a German family and is bilingual in English and German. I asked her if she knew any German proverbs, and this was her response:
ZK: “The last proverb I can come up with is Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand, which translates to ‘under the bandaid is the sand,’ so like under the hard things there is something better but you can’t get to it.”
Analysis: As is the theme with all of the German proverbs my friend told me about, there’s a highly prevalent degree of delayed gratification here, a prioritization of hard work, sacrifice, and eventual payoff (hopefully). It’s also interesting how most of these proverbs fall under a pessimistic mentality–if the goal is to if not inspire, at least offer wisdom for future generations, that wisdom appears to be coming out of some incredibly jaded mouths. Which, once again, would make sense given Germany’s history.