y? yán jì ch?, sì m? nán zhu?
One word already out, four horses hard chase
When something has been said, a team of four horses cannot overtake it.
She told me that she learned this proverb from her school teacher when she was younger. She said that this proverb comes from a story about a king. When a king said an order, the order is executed immediately. Like, when the king orders the army to go to war. The messenger goes out and spreads the word. The kings word spreads very fast, just like wild fire. It spreads so fast that even horses cannot over take the word. She said basically the moral of the story is to be careful of what you say. You have to think twice before you say something. Word can spread very fast. So once you say it, you cannot take it back.
I have heard proverbs like this many times. One lesson that father insist that take to my heart is his lesson on thinking before speaking. He would always tell me to think twice or maybe even three times before I say something. It was not because I said things freely but it so to instill this lesson into my brain. He told me that I had to be responsible for my actions; including my words. He said that once sometime leaves my mouth; I cannot take it back. He also told me not to make empty promises; to make sure I can keep the promises before I actually make the promises.