Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It's "that time of year." When we're all so overloaded, just one small thing can be "the straw that broke the camel's back."
Every culture has a proverb related to the straw that broke the camel's back. Why? Because it's oh-so-true.
Lighten your load if you see this point coming.
And don't allow some small thing to be "the straw that broke the camel's back."
The straw that broke the camel's back is an Arab proverb. Camels were so much a part of their culture. They keep loading things on the camel, and then they put one more straw on there, and it breaks the camel's back.
One of the earliest published usages of this phrase was in Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son where he says "As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back", meaning that there is a limit to everyone's endurance, or everyone has his breaking point.
Here are the proverbs from other countries:
Arabic Original : القشه التى قصمت ظهر البعير Danish equivalent: Dråben, der fik bægeret til at flyde over, meaning the drop that made the glass overflow.
French equivalent: la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase, meaning the drop of water that makes the vase overflow.
German equivalent: Der Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen bringt, meaning the drop that makes the barrel overflow.
Dutch equivalent: De druppel die de emmer doet overlopen, meaning the drop that makes the bucket overflow.
Spanish equivalent: La gota que colmó/derramó el vaso, meaning the drop that spills over the glass.
Greek equivalent: Η σταγόνα που ξεχύλισε το ποτήρι, meaning the drop that made the glass overflow. Italian equivalent: La goccia che fa traboccare il vaso, meaning the drop of water that makes the jar overflow.
Romanian equivalent: Picătura care a umplut paharul, meaning the drop that filled the glass. Swedish equivalent: Droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över, meaning the drop that made the bucket overflow.
Turkish equivalent: Bardağı taşıran son damla, meaning the drop of water that makes the glass overflow.
Hebrew equivalent: הקש ששבר את גב הגמל, meaning the straw that broke the camel's back. Norwegian equivalent: "Liten tue velter stort lass", roughly translates to "small bump makes coach tip over"
A US version is "I'm on my last nerve" or "you're getting on my last nerve." It's a warning that the person is overloaded.
Please don't let yourself get overloaded. Take the breaks you need, lighten your load, talk to someone, get away from it all.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free mini-coaching session.