Proverb – Finland

“Minulla on oma lechmä ojassa”

“You have your own cow in a ditch”

Sari told me that she learned this proverb when she was about seven years old when she was living in Finland. She was just a little girl but was interested in adult conversations. She told me that she first remember hearing the proverb when her mother and father where having a discussion with some neighbors. The neighbors had a friend of them stay in their house for a long time just because the friend was a business associate and the neighbors did not wanted to ruin the relationship. She then heard her father use the expression to tell the neighbors that they only allowed the friend stay because they had the business reputation to protect. In this case she remembers that the reputation was the cow as it made them react in a certain way because they could not move out of the ditch. She told me that this proverb indicated when people vote in a certain direction just because they have their own investment in the matter. Some restrain make the person react in a certain way. Sari told me that the proverb needs to be used at people that are making forced decisions. She also said that the proverb can make people understand why other people acted the way they did.

I agree with Sari. Sometimes one just has no choice but to follow their constraints. As the proverb states, you have your cow in a ditch. A cow is a very heavy animal and it will be almost impossible to move a cow out of a ditch. Sometimes people need to understand that some actions aren’t being made just because the other person wanted to, but sometimes, there are constraints that make other people act in way that could be unimaginable for them. Also, this proverb is good to show people that they should reconsider some part of their life. If a constraint does not let them vote a certain direction, is it worth having that part of your life? It is like a reality check, people need to realize that a cow will be hard to move so they need to make sure they are making good decisions since the beginning so they don’t have too many cows in ditches.