Meaning of the proverb look before you leap

The proverb means that we should do a thing after careful consideration beforehand. We have read the story of the fox and goat. The foolish goat hearing the words of the cunning fox jumped down into the well. He did not think beforehand how he would come out of it if he leaped into it. He suffered the consequences of his action. Thus we should not do any work hastily. We should first consider what may be the consequences of our action. We should think of the difficulties of the task. We should think of the means of accomplishing it. We should think of our capacity. Otherwise we may fail.

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There will be waste of time and waste of money and labor, and in some cases the consequences may be bad. Without planning, without proper consideration of the advantages and disadvantages, we should not begin a work. Some people are rash and impulsive by nature. An idea strikes their mind and they do not wait to think over the matter carefully. They at once begin the work. Half way they meet with difficulties. They did not think of these beforehand. They cannot now overcome the difficulties and they give up the work. This is bad. In every sphere of life we should first decide carefully and then begin the work.


The guardian of a student should think carefully what course for studies the student should follow. A student should study medicine, but he studies law. A student should study literature, but he is made to study medicine. The result is that such a student cannot shine in life. He goes against his natural bent of mind. The career of many students is thus ruined. So we must think carefully before deciding on a course of action. Once having made any decision we must go on with a resolute will till the work is finished successfully.

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