“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
The informant explains that her father would tell her this as a child growing up and still tells her this today. The informant explains that her father would give her this piece of advice when she was stressed out over different things in her life. The informant explains that she interprets this proverb as a way of explaining that the best way to tackle a large problem or obstacle ahead of you is to approach is step by step; not try to conquer it all at once. The informant explains that this proverb allows her to step away from the situation and analyze how to approach a problem with a better plan for tackling it.
This proverb relates to other proverbs, which promote facing a problem slowly and thoughtfully such as when people say, “baby steps, baby steps.” Proverbs such as these suggest that Americans support the idea of breaking large problems down into smaller pieces in order to defeat the challenges in a better fashion.