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Part 3: On cageyness, caution, moderation, patience, and prudence


“Ng óò wọ́ ọ kágbó,” ẹ̀hìn-in rẹ̀ ni yó fi lànà.
“I will drag you through the bush” will have to clear a path with his own back.
(Whoever is determined to make trouble for others must be prepared to take some trouble himself.)
Compare Ọmọ tí ó ní kí ìyá òun má sùn . . .

Nítorí ara ilé la ṣe ńdá ṣòkòtò ará oko dára.
It is with the town dweller in mind that one makes the bush person's trousers well.
(One's products are one's advertisement, regardless of whether the recipient knows its quality.)
Compare Nítorí ọlọgbọ́n la ṣe ńdá ẹ̀wù-u aṣiwèrè kanlẹ̀.

Nítorí-i ká lè simi la ṣe ńṣe àì-simi.
It is so that one would be able to rest that one forgoes rest.
(One labors in the present to provide for one's future.)
Compare the following entry and also Nítorí ọ̀la . . .

Nítorí-i ká má jìyà la ṣe ńyá Májìyà lọ́fà.
It is so that one would not have to suffer that one pawns Májìyà.
(One should not suffer the misfortune one has done everything to avoid.) [63]
Compare the preceding entry and also Nítorí ọ̀la...

Nítorí ọjọ́ tí ó bá máa dáràn la ṣe ńsọmọ lórúkọ.
It is in anticipation of the day a child will get into trouble that one gives it a name.
(Each individual has a name and is therefore an independent agent responsible for his/her actions.)

Nítorí ọ̀la la ṣe ńṣòní lóore.
Its is with tomorrow in mind that we do favors for today.
(What one sows determines what one reaps.)
Compare Nítoríi ká lè simi . . . and Nítoríi ká má jìyà . . .

Nítorí ọlọgbọ́n la ṣe ńdá ẹ̀wù-u aṣiwèrè kanlẹ̀.
It is with the wise person in mind that one makes the idiot's garment full length.
(If one cares about one's reputation, one will perform one's obligations well even when the recipient has no power over one.)
Compare Nítorí ara ilé la ṣe ńdá ṣòkòtò ará oko dára.

Nǹkan mẹ́ta la kì í pè ní kékeré: a kì í pe iná ní kékeré; a kì í pe ìjà ní kékeré; a kì í pe àìsàn ní kékeré.
Three things one must never treat as of little consequence: one must never treat fire as of little consequence; one must never treat a quarrel as of little consequence; and one must never treat an illness as of little consequence.
(One must attend to every potential problem early before it gets out of hand.)


63. The name Májìyà means “Suffer not.” The suggestion is that the speaker has either taken Májíyà as a pawn to work for him, or has sent Májìyà away as a pawn to perform the obligations the speaker had taken on.  [Back to text]