Bellyful make potato have skin.
— AFRICAN AMERICAN
The one who is not hungry calls the coconut shells hard.
When the bridge is gone, the narrowest plank becomes precious.
As an author, I am keenly aware that it takes the common effort of many people to bring about a book. This book owes much to the kindness and efficiency of Joanna Hill, Laura Barrett, and their coworkers at the Templeton Press;and to Thomas Moore’s gracious and thought- provoking introduction. My thanks go also to Patricia Campbell Carlson for her personal assistance in every phase of preparing the manuscript; to Rosemarie Primault for generous research and advice; to Daniel Uvanovic for helping me clarify the concept of common sense; and to all the friends who offered helpful comments on early drafts. I owe a great debt to John Dominic Crossan, whose books In Parables and Cliffs of Fall gave me a new perspective on the parables of Jesus; and to Selwyn Gurney Champion, M.D., for his classic collection of proverbs from all parts of the world.Above all, I am grateful to the countless people throughout the ages — from beggars to queens — who passed on to us through proverbs the wisdom of common sense. Last not least, my thanks to Gumpa, my helper who showed considerable common sense as message- carrying cat.