I find it amazing that so many people believe that proverbs express common-sense truths that embody a quintessence of the folk wisdom of humanity. If so, how come so many proverbs contradict each other? In the following pairs of proverbs, they cannot both be true. Which of the two is a truth?

Haste makes waste.                                              He who hesitates is lost.

Above all, to thine own self be true.                         When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

It is never too late to learn.                                     You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.                It is pointless to beat a dead horse.

Two is company, three is a crowd.                          The more, the merrier.

Do it well or not at all.                                            Half a loaf is better than none.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.                           Better safe than sorry.

Never judge a book by its cover.                             Clothes make the man.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.                   Out of sight, out of mind.

Many hands make light work.                                 Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Never send a boy to do a man's job.                        And a little child shall lead them.

Actions speak louder than words.                           The pen is mightier than the sword.

Never change horses in mid-stream.                       Variety is the spice of life.

Silence is golden.                                                 The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Practice makes perfect.                                        All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

A penny saved is a penny earned.                          The love of money is the root of all evil.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.                              Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Faint heart never won fair maiden.                           Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

There's no place like home.                                    A rolling stone gathers no moss.

A stitch in time saves nine.                                    Better late than never.

Forgive and forget.                                                 Turn about is fair play.

One man's meat is another man's poison.                Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Of course the answer is: neither of the two. All of them are ready-made generalizations recited when the speaker is incapable of working out a real solution to a real problem.