Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
This wise saying offers two rather parallel thoughts. The first is about “patience” and the second about “a gentle tongue.”
For what it’s worth the single English word “patience” is an interesting phrase in Hebrew – literally “long of nostrils!” Think about someone getting mad and scrunching up their nose and face – they would not be “long of nostrils!”
This wise saying says if I can just learn to be “long of nostrils,” even my boss “can be persuaded.” I probably should try that on Bob here at HUM!
The second statement is about a “gentle tongue.” Symbolic language for words, it suggests that “soft words” can even break through something really hard – like a “bone.”
Want to have real power with other people? Intimidation, threats and talking them to death are not the way to go!
Instead, just give it some time. And soft words can do wonders!