Proverb – Korean

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a speck of dust               gather             Tai Sahn (mystical mountain)

“From a speck of dust, one can build the Tai Sahn mountain.”

My mom learned this proverb from my grandma while living in the suburbs of South Korea as a child.  At seven years old, this was the first time she had money of her own to spend, and she was eager to buy candies and toys with it.  Because it was such a small sum of money, she didn’t think that it would be worth saving.  It seemed more fitting to spend it on momentary pleasures.  However, my grandma thought differently and scolded my mom for being so free with her money and told her never to doubt the significance of even a small amount of money.  Since then, my mom has taken care to save her money rather than spend it all.

From this proverb, my mom learned the importance of saving.  No matter how little a sum of money may seem, throughout the years, careful saving can help grow it to a large amount of wealth.  Just as little specks of dust can accumulate over time to create the grand, majestic Tai Sahn mountain, a small amount of money can eventually grow to unimaginable sums.  Though it requires a lot of work and time, it is not impossible to accomplish this goal.  Therefore, the proverb has encouraged her to continue saving for greater things.

To me, the proverb not only comments on the importance of saving but also serves as a reminder that all things are possible.  Though it seems impossible for a speck of dust to grow into a large mountain, it is possible.  It takes time for the specks to come together and accumulate, but eventually, they do amount to something great.  Similarly, though tasks in our lives appear daunting and unsurpassable, nothing is impossible.  Through hard work and patience, anything can be accomplished.