This, Too, Shall/Will Pass: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 4, 2023

We've all had times when life feels overwhelming, and everything seems to be going wrong. During these moments, a simple phrase, "this, too, shall/will pass," can offer a beacon of hope. This saying suggests that no matter how tough things get, they will eventually get better.

In short:

"This, too, shall/will pass" means difficult times are temporary and will eventually end.

What Does “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass” Mean?

The saying “this, too, shall/will pass” is a reminder that all situations, whether good or bad, are temporary. Over time, they will change or end. Here's a closer look at its meaning:

  • Emphasis on Temporary Nature: The phrase stresses the transient nature of experiences. Whether you're on top of the world or in the depths of despair, the situation will change.
  • Comfort during Hard Times: When we face challenges or sorrows, the saying reassures us that the pain won't last forever.
  • Humility during Good Times: On the flip side, when things are going exceptionally well, it's a reminder to remain humble and cherish the moment since it won't last indefinitely.
  • Universal Truth: Regardless of who you are or where you come from, this phrase resonates as a universal truth. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone.

In essence, the phrase carries wisdom about the ever-changing nature of life and circumstances.

Where Does “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass” Come From?

The phrase "this too shall pass" is believed to have its roots in Persian Sufi poetry. Notably, poets such as Rumi, Sanai, and Attar of Nishapur have been associated with this adage. Specifically, Attar recounts a tale of a powerful king who seeks a phrase that would always hold true, regardless of the situation. The phrase is also linked to King Solomon, although this connection is found in non-Jewish sources. Another interpretation suggests that the saying is a calque of the Classical Persian expression "این نیز بگذرد‎" (īn nēz bugzarad), which carries a similar sentiment.

10 Examples of "This, Too, Shall/Will Pass" in Sentences

Context can change the tone of this saying, offering solace or a humble reminder. Here are some varied examples:

  • I know you're heartbroken now, but this, too, shall pass.
  • Despite the success, she remembered that this too would pass and stayed grounded.
  • Can't thank you enough for reminding me that this, too, shall pass during my toughest times.
  • After she told me about her breakup, I said, "I feel you, but this too shall pass."
  • Celebrations were in full swing, but in the back of her mind, she knew this, too, would pass.
  • Checking in on you. Remember, this too shall pass.
  • Even in the most gnarly of situations, it's vital to remember that this, too, will pass.
  • I feel like the world is bailing on me, but this, too, shall pass.
  • The economy might be down, and businesses might get repoed, but this too shall pass.
  • You may feel overwhelmed now, but this, too, shall pass like everything else.

Examples of “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass” in Pop Culture

This saying isn't just ancient wisdom; it has found its place in modern pop culture.

  • The song "This Too Shall Pass" by OK Go became quite popular.
  • President Abraham Lincoln's address in which he referenced the phrase, highlighting its historical significance.
  • A scene in the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" where a character uses the phrase for comfort.
  • Numerous self-help books and motivational speakers incorporate this phrase to instill hope.
  • The phrase also inspired artwork, from tattoos to paintings, symbolizing the impermanence of life.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass"

There are several sayings that convey a similar sentiment. For instance:

  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • It's always darkest before the dawn
  • Rome wasn't built in a day
  • Tomorrow is another day

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass”:

  • What is the basic idea behind the phrase?

The term emphasizes that everything, good or bad, is temporary and will change.

  • Who first coined this phrase?

It's unclear, but the phrase has been linked to various historical figures, including King Solomon.

  • Is the saying used more for positive or negative situations?

Both. It can be a comfort during hardships or a reminder to remain humble during good times.

  • How has the term been adopted in pop culture?

From songs to movies, the phrase has been utilized in various contexts to convey its timeless message.

  • Can you use "this too shall pass" in any situation?

Yes, the beauty of the term is its universality. It's relevant in almost any context.

  • Why do people tattoo this phrase on their bodies?

Many find solace in its message of impermanence and want a permanent reminder of life's fleeting nature.

  • Are there any songs titled "this too shall pass"?

Yes, several artists have written songs titled "this too shall pass." One of the most notable ones is by the band OK Go. Their song "this too shall pass" was released in 2010 and gained significant attention not only for its catchy tune but also for its highly inventive music video.

  • How does the term compare to "Every cloud has a silver lining"?

Both idioms convey optimism, but "this too shall pass" emphasizes transience, while the other focuses on finding positivity in negativity.

  • Can you translate "this too shall pass" into other languages?

Certainly. Many languages have their equivalents or can directly translate the sentiment.

  • What's the significance of the term in today's fast-paced world?

In a rapidly changing world, the phrase serves as a grounding reminder of life's constant ebb and flow.

Final Thoughts About “This, Too, Shall/Will Pass”

Life is a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. Navigating its highs and lows can be challenging, but it's essential to remember that everything is temporary. The idiom "this, too, shall/will pass" offers a valuable perspective:

  • A comforting hand during trying times.
  • A gentle reminder to cherish joyful moments.
  • A universal truth acknowledged across cultures and ages.
  • A beacon of hope, urging us to persevere.

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