EnglishTeaching

Full cup, steady hand

When we’re comfortable we enjoy showing it. But a misstep can quickly turn that smile into a frown and then we’ve lost the pleasure we felt a moment ago. I guess the proverb is a reminder that modesty, appreciation, calmness are invaluable in the enjoyment.

I suppose it is all about contentment. When you know that your cup is full though can you remain steady? Everyone is watching us then, the pressure is on, don’t….. I personally really like this proverb because if used – it’s all in the tone you say it. It could be sarcastic, a warning, advice, or said in a joking manner. That’s great because delivery is everything so make sure you know who is receiving this proverb and what you are trying to convey.

The beauty here is that the speaker could mean all those things and you are left guessing which one they meant.

Either way I don’t see anything wrong with gloating a bit, it’s so American I know. But I also respect the silent satisfaction others might enjoy more, and that is fine. But when serving it up, appreciate what you got.

In class, this one needs examples to work. Students won’t know off the top of their head when it applies or not. So here you go: a promotion, an award or recognition of success, victory in competition (of any kind sport, academic, business). Get students to explain how the proverb would be used. Which intention is the best to use? Does it depend on who is saying it?

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