Informant: Be swift to hear, slow to speak.

The informant learned this proverb from her mother who said it often.

The proverb was said in situations where the informant was speaking too much or saying things that weren’t beneficial to her or those around her.

The informant admired the proverb and took it to heart when it was said. The informant still attempts to live by it.

Collector: where do you think your mother heard this? From her parents, church, elders?

Informant: From church

Collector: Did you know that this is similar to something from the Bible (Epistle of James): “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath?”

Informant: Yes, she told me. All of her teachings were biblical.

Children are unaware of societal etiquette or proper behavior and tend to speak hurtful truths, share unnecessary thoughts and ignore other people talking. This proverb could help to teach the children the importance of being careful of what they say and always listening to others.

For another version, see Epistle of James in the Bible.