In a conversation with a client recently, I used the phrase: one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

I was unsure whether or not to use it, as I thought he might experience it as demeaning, or patronising; that I was just throwing out a quote or a cliché.

That was until I chatted to him at a function recently. I asked how he was doing and he said, “that quote you shared with me was brilliant and has really stuck, and helped me with my current issue.”

What was it then? A cliché? A proverb? A parable? I looked them up in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. A cliché is: a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought, such as, “a woman’s place is in the home.”
  2. A proverb is: a short, well-known pithy saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice.
  3. A parable is: a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.

Tell stories, share proverbs and it turns out, avoid clichés!

Have a great week.

All the best,

Si.