What is the origin of "people who live in glass houses should not throw stones?"


The origin of the saying "people who live in glass houses should not throw stones" takes its earliest form in Geoffrey Chaucer's "Troilus and Criseyde," which appeared in the 14th century. The original line reads: "From cast of stones ware him in the werre," and one modern adaptation of this line reads: "Let him beware of casting stones in battle." The notion here is that throwing stones often leads to more damage to one's own cause than to the other side.

In more modern times, the application of this saying has taken on a larger significance going well beyond the scope of war. The meaning dovetails with similar proverbs about the follies that a lack of proper perspective provides. In the New Testament, there is a teaching that tells Christians to remove the log from their own eye before trying to get the speck out of a friend's eye. The implication here is that one's own perspective is often flawed much more than one thinks, and it is important to fix one's own issues of point of view before attempting to do the same to someone else.

In the case of the glass house, the idea is that the thrower would lose sight of the actual sight of his house and, in a fit of rage at something he saw outside, would throw stones at an enemy, forgetting that his own house was in the way.

Q&A Related to "What is the origin of "people who live in glass..."
The saying originated with Chaucer: Who that hath an hed of verre (glass) Fro cast of stones war hym in the werre! (Chaucer, "Troilus & Criseyde, c1385) A later use that
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