I wrote the first part of this article a few days back and it was quite exciting to do. However, it was supposed to be a on eh time thing, but made a beautiful comment on my post that chiefly responsible for this continuation. You can find the first part here.
This proverb is a bit simplistic but yet powerful. This proverb is basically a call to know yourself and also to take responsibility. Take for example, a poor man with a poor saving culture would like to think if he was rich, he would know how to save better, but that isn't true, of course. Knowing how to save has nothing to do with your wealth status, hence if he couldn't save when he was poor, he still can't save when he's rich, unless he takes the responsibility of actively working to become better at it. Take another example, a guy who isn't able to do anything with his life in Nigeria, might be saying he'll be this and that if he were in Europe, but if you can't do anything here, what makes you think you can do any better in Europe? Growing up, this was a parable told to kids who had bad manners or were lazying about, doing nothing with their lives.
This one can get really funny, especially when you're the one it's been told to. Like most African proverbs, it's a warning. A goat is no match for a lion whatsoever, hence it doesn't play where a lion plays, even while the lion is asleep.
Applying this to humans, it's a call to know your place in the scheme of things anywhere you are, and not to overstep your bounds for any reason whatsoever. For example, you are a relatively unknown politician who was able to pull a surprise victory over an incumbent in a local government election, and because of that, the next election, you're throwing your hat in the ring for the presidency; or say you're a very good boxer in a lower division and you're dominating, then you all of a sudden start thinking of challenging the best in the highest division. The opposite of this parable is 'biting more than you can chew.
This is a parable about humility and gratefulness. Sometimes, things can get so messy for us, we begin to think we have it worse, more than every other person, like we are at the lowest level of the slump/scum class. But, this couldn't be farther from the truth. No matter how bad your circumstances, there are people out there who have it far worse than you do or could possibly imagine. No matter how bad your situation, be grateful for the good things and people in it. In that parable, the mosquitoes represents people who have it far worse than you do. Knowing this will teach you to have a spirit of gratitude.
After writing the first part, I was going to leave it at that, until I came across these beautiful ones, which was posted by @Gently as a comment on the first part of this article.
Now that I'm done, I feel like I should continue the series. I really enjoy writing it, cos I learn as I'm writing about it. It's fun to get these and try to interpret them. We'll see, I guess.
Thanks for reading....