One bird in your hand is better than ten in the sky.

Carlos said he first heard this African Proverb in his English class when they were studying popular wisdom and proverbs from around the world. He said that this proverb in particular struck him because he felt that it had personal significance for him in his own life. He took it to mean that you do not need that many materials, because you should just satisfy yourself with the things that mean the most.

I think that Carlos’s last comment was especially perceptive and insightful in terms of understanding this proverb. The proverb seems to guide you towards cultivating a greater appreciation of what you do have in your pocket, so to speak, at this moment instead of overlooking it in your pursuit for more or something else entirely. It also seems to warn you against missing out on this moment and all the richness that you already possess, whether tangible or not as Carlos suggested. The image of ten birds in the sky emphasizes their physical distance from you, but perhaps also how removed those desires etc. are from you currently. Being able to have one bird in your pocket is a physical, tangible experience that is available to you now that is more real than the birds in the distance growing increasingly smaller against the horizon. This proverb subtly guides you towards a great awareness of your resources and blessings, gratitude and appreciation, and also a firm grounding in what is most real and available to you now.