“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”

Joe and His Birds Many often use the idiom “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” in everyday conversations. But what does this commonly used phrase actually mean, and where did it come from? According to www. phrases. org, it means that it is better to have a lesser but certain advantage than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing. The origin of this proverb refers back to mediaeval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey).

The first citation of the expression in print in its currently used form is found in John Ray’s A Hand-book of Proverbs, 1670, in which he lists it as: A [also ‘one’] bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. By how long the phrase predates Ray’s publishing isn’t clear, as variants of it were known for centuries before 1670. The earliest English version of the proverb is from the Bible and was translated into English in Wycliffe’s version in 1382, although Latin texts have it from the 13th century. The assumption that many people believe to be true is that having something that s certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything. “A bird in the hand” is yours, and it is not going anywhere unless you let it go, but if you leave and go for “two in the bush”, there is no guarantee you will catch them, and you might end up with nothing in the end. In essence do not be greedy and stick with what good things you have, instead of going after things you will probably never get.

Yes this does deem to be true, however if you look deeper and beyond the text, you will see that this statement can be refuted changing the whole outlook and way this proverb can be used. Lets take a look! Many achievements involve taking risks, and if you do not take risks you may not reach your ultimate goal. That leads to “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush if you are satisfied with being an average Joe”. Average meaning middle, and Joe being a common first name usually of a male. An ordinary Joe, is an ordinary man who does ordinary things Just like everyone else around him.

He refuses to go against the grain and branch out, overall being different from his peers. This type of person will not step outside their comfort zone in order to be successful, meaning that they stay ontent with where they are or what they are doing in life instead of challenging themselves to become even more successful. Without risk and Just keeping the one bird in your hand, you loose the ability to grow physically and spiritually hindering you to discover new things about the world and its surroundings.

I would venture to say that Michael Dell of Dell computers or Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation did not succumb to the adage of playing it safe. When it comes to risk taking, some people are terrified of taking reasonable risks, resulting in a life that’s flat and lackluster. For xample: Two dollars (two birds in the bush) are significantly greater than one dollar ( one bird in hand). A homeless guy off the streets has not eaten in days and wants to buy something at the nearest fast food restaurant to eat.

He has one dollar and therefore can not even buy something off of the dollar menu after tax. Contrastingly a goes hungry. Put yourself in that position. Would you risk it all if it meant you could eat and survive one more day? Or would you Just sit back and starve to death? Alternately take the example of investing in the stock market versus your average saving account. In a savings account you will never lose your deposit amount. In the stock market if the economy dips or the corporation does bad, you can actually lose some if not all of your initial deposit.

Which risk will you take? The chance of sticking with the status quo, or striking it rich? According to Dan Borge, in “The Book of Risk,” risk means being exposed to the possibility of a bad outcome, and risk management means taking deliberate action to shift the odds in your favor. He says that we are already risk managers, since we make risk decisions every day, often without thinking about it things as simple as etting out of bed, lighting up a cigarette, getting in your car or putting money in the stock market.

While you don’t need to agonize over every decision, it is the big, life- changing risks that we face only a handful of times in our lives that can stop us in our tracks. But if we dont step up to the challenge, we may find ourselves living a life that bores us, that has no dynamics or color. By avoiding any kind of risk, we systematically shut down our world, making it smaller, flatter and grayer. That is why “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush if you are satisfied with being an average Joe”.