The following thoughts are shared by Vorb Charles, Director of Economic Development, at Haiti Awake.
Ti kouto pa grate manch literally means “Little knife doesn’t scrub its own handle”.
In Haiti, mostly in the countryside, people usually have tools with handles made of wood. For example, the big spoon they use to cook with. They call it “kiyè bwa” (wood spoon).
When they want to clean it, they use the blade of a little knife to do so, and this knife has its own handle made of wood, too. But they cannot use the blade of the knife to clean its handle even though it has been used to clean other wood tools’ handles. So came this proverb: “Ti kouto pa grate manch li.”
It expresses the idea of help needed. Everyone needs help, advice, guidance even as they themselves are helpers, advisers, guides. They need someone else to help them because their own help, advice, guidance does not work for them.
Let’s keep on being humble, considering others as valuable as God has created them. Those we are helping can help us, too.