Proverb – Norway

“Altfor blyg kjem ingen stad fram

“Too shy gets nowhere ahead.”

“Who little ventures, little gains.”

My grandmother told me that she often heard this saying when she was growing up from my mother. The proverb is most often used to convey the idea that if one does not put themselves out there and experience life then they will learn little and not grow as a person. The saying has been passed down through my grandmother’s family originating with her Great Grandma. My mother and Grandmother tell me that my Great Grandmother was extremely adventurous. She was a seasoned traveler and made her mark known around the world, traveling to all parts of Europe and Asia. Her traveling greatly altered her perspective and changed her outlook on life, having a tremendous impact on her personally. Whenever her children were reluctant to pursue something new, she would often tell her children “who little ventures, little gains” in the context that if they do not venture out and see the world then they will gain little in life as opposed to if they stay stagnant.

The role of this saying in my life has also been equated with travel. My parents have often encouraged me to be outgoing and try new things. My mother has often used this phrase to coax me into doing things I have often been reluctant to do such as an exchange program to Barcelona, Spain when I was in high school or studying abroad in college. Today, I can also see this saying being used to capture the idea that if one does not take risks in the business world and be ambitious, then there is little profit that can be made. Especially in the United States, innovative and new ideas are key to maintaining steady growth in ever evolving markets. I believe that this saying captures the idea that sometimes the risk is worth the reward.

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