Proverb – French

“les jours se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas”

“the days itself follow and not resemble not”

“what a day may bring, a day may take away”

Elizabeth first heard this proverb from her father. Her parents are both French and often her father would comment on Elizabeth’s daily activities in French. One of the things she remembers him saying most often is the proverb above. Her Dad would always say this to her when she had a bad day in hopes of comforting her. Elizabeth remembered one special occasion when she was in middle school. Commonly in middle school girls would begin to form cliques and act catty towards one another. She said that one day she got into a fight with a close friend of hers and was really distraught by it. Her father came into her room and talked to her about the situation and before he left her alone told her the proverb.

Elizabeth believes it to mean that no matter how bad your day may be there is always a new day tomorrow and that new day can make you forget about the bad day you had earlier. Elizabeth also tells this proverb to her little brothers and friends when they have a bad day too, it helped her so she hopes that it will help others too.

Perhaps not this exact proverb but others like it are popular in American society. Most notably is the song from Annie, “Tomorrow” in which orphan Annie sings; “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun!” I’ve also heard other variations of this proverb in simpler phrasing such as “Tomorrow’s a new day.”

This reveals the idea of optimism popular in many cultures. The French are known for the romanticism and love of the beauty in life. When the romance and beauty disappears this quote is fitting. It reassures whoever hears it that the beauty and romance taken away in one day can just as easily be regained. The origin of the proverb is unknown to Elizabeth and her father but both imagine that it has been around for quite sometime. Historically it is possible that the quote was popular during the French revolution when the French people were so dissatisfied with their government and caste system. This quote may have been said to the nobles who feared the anarchy or to the revolutionaries who hoped that justice would return to them.

Elizabeth believes that this quote is still said in households in France today. Proverbs are usually capable of transcending time, perhaps slightly changing to be more applicable to a specific period. This proverb has transcended time, even if it does not date back to the Revolution, it has transcended two generations of Chabots and will likely transcend more.