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In the vast realm of proverbs and sayings that offer timeless wisdom, few are as impactful as the English adage, “Agree, for the law is costly.” This concise phrase carries a profound message about the potential consequences of legal disputes and the high price one might pay for allowing conflicts to escalate into legal battles. Let’s delve into the meaning behind this proverb, explore its usage in conversations, and consider its possible origins.

The Meaning Behind the Proverb:

“Agree, for the law is costly” succinctly conveys the idea that pursuing legal action or litigation can be a financially and emotionally draining endeavor. In essence, it suggests that reaching a compromise or settlement outside of court can often be more advantageous than allowing a dispute to escalate into a legal case.

This proverb underscores the recognition that the legal system is intricate and often involves significant expenses, including attorney fees, court costs, and the investment of time. While laws are designed to provide a fair resolution to conflicts, the process of seeking justice through the legal system can come at a substantial cost.

Examples in Conversation:

  1. Workplace Dispute: Person A: “I can’t believe my coworker took credit for my idea again!” Person B: “Well, it’s frustrating, but before you consider legal action, remember: agree, for the law is costly. Maybe try talking to your coworker and finding a compromise first.”
  2. Neighborly Disagreement: Person A: “Our neighbors are constantly playing loud music late at night. I’m thinking of suing them.” Person B: “Before you go down that road, keep in mind the old saying ‘Agree, for the law is costly.’ Perhaps try discussing the issue with them to find a solution that benefits both parties.”
  3. Business Partnership: Entrepreneur A: “My business partner wants to dissolve our partnership, but I want to fight it in court.” Entrepreneur B: “Consider the proverb: agree, for the law is costly. Resolving this amicably might save you both a lot of time, money, and stress.”

Possible Origin:

The origin of this proverb is not precisely documented, but it likely emerged from the historical context of legal systems and the recognition of the potential drawbacks of pursuing legal action. English common law, which forms the basis of many legal systems around the world, has always been associated with complex procedures and high costs. As societies evolved, people recognized the value of avoiding protracted legal battles by reaching settlements or compromises, thus giving rise to the wisdom encapsulated in this saying.

In a broader sense, the proverb captures a universal truth about human conflict resolution. It’s a reminder that finding common ground and resolving disputes through communication and negotiation can often be more beneficial than resorting to the courts.

In Conclusion:

“Agree, for the law is costly” resonates across cultures and generations, serving as a timeless reminder of the financial, emotional, and time-related toll that legal battles can take. By urging individuals to seek resolution outside the courtroom, this proverb offers a powerful lesson in conflict management. Whether in the workplace, within communities, or between business partners, the wisdom behind the saying remains relevant, promoting compromise, understanding, and the preservation of resources.


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