We use many proverbs in our everyday lives. But some proverbs seem out of sync with modern age and day. Rather, many old sayings have now acquired a to totally different meaning. But we still hear pithy sayings being thrown at children by parents, at students by teachers, at masses by leaders — all to hit home a particular message.

My grandma used to encourage me to get ahead in life with her gems of proverbs. Her relentless preaching hit the nail on the head, but I always turned a deaf ear to what she had to say.

I thought her sermons had little to do with the real world. For her, Slow and steady wins the race. The hares of her era may have been lazy and sleepy, so the tortoises had the last laugh. But no one is taking things so easy in this world of cut-throat competition. When everybody is alert, one can take this saying at face value only at the risk of losing out. Gone are the days of steady slow-movers. The need is for constant fast runners.

Today’s movers and shakers have the quickness of hares and the steadiness of tortoises. So they are double-quick to jump at every opportunity they see. They never take a nap. Their mantra is: Time misspent is time lost. Another outworn saying is: Rolling stones gather no moss. Change is an integral part of our lives and we should be flexible enough to adjust to the new. In the same league is the proverb “One who lives in a glass house should not throw stones”. But whether you throw stones or not, it is possible that others will smash your glass without any provocation. Then, All that glitters is not gold. Wrong again. No one notices a person nowadays until he’s able to catch the eye of others by showing off. They used to say: Health is wealth. But, seriously.

Isn’t it the other way around these days?

Equally out of time is the proverb “A stitch in time saves nine” in an age of use-and-throw garments which come so cheap that it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to have the tear sewn up.

Grandma, sorry, I can’t live by your dictums in this drastically changed world. Old is no longer gold. Money talks. This is the most defining adage of the 21st century. The sooner one learns this, the better.