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Those Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones | (Proverb & it’s Background)

Do you live in a house with huge glass windows? If so,  you must feel insecure about throwing stones. Why? Simply when you throw a stone at others, others will also throw stones at you. If your house is made up of glass, it will break. To make your weak, delicate house secure you should control your emotions. 

What does it mean by “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” It is a famous proverb used in many European countries. It means one should not harm others by words and actions if he himself is so vulnerable or weak” 

This proverb has old roots embedded in the history of literature. It is used by many writers in literature and it is one of the proverbial phrases of Jesus Christ By Mathew.

Those Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones Meanings

This is a proverb in the real sense. It is widely used in European countries. One may think by mistake that it is some kind of advice to the people living in glasshouses. The actual meaning of this proverb is 

“One should not cause harm to other people if he is himself vulnerable”

It has nothing to do with people living in glass houses. 

It has both hypocritic and critical tone as

“One who is vulnerable to criticism regarding a certain issue should not criticize others about the same issue.”

That’s why its widely used by political leaders in various speeches where they want to criticize opposition parties

“In simple words, if you don’t have the power to admit your weakness you should never criticize others”

“Living in a glasshouse” means “weakness”

“If you yourself are vulnerable how can you insult others”

Those Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones Origin

Are you interested to know the origin of those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”?If so, you must have to go back to the English literature book Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde written in 1385.

This book is regarded as Chaucer’s great work. In this poem, he tells the story of two lovers against the will of the Siege of Troy. In this poem, this proverb is cited like that

“[…] who that hath a head of verre, From the cast of stones, ware him in the werre.”

So it was Chaucer who first used this proverb in his literary work.

After this George Herbert make the use of this phrase but in a more understandable way

“Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another”

The same phrase made its first appearance in American literature in “William & Mary Quarterly”. This was the public journal published in Virginia.

Those Who Live In Glass House Should Not Throw Stones In Bible Verse

Many people think that it is a translation of some verse of the Bible. There is no evidence of a glasshouse in the Bible. So it might be taken somewhere else. But in some verses, there is related evidence from the same meaning of the proverb.

In Jesus Christ proverbials you can find the evidence of this proverb in Matthew 7:26-29 as stated below

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them shall be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rains descended, and the floods rose up, and the winds blew,”

Here building a house on sand may have the same meaning as building a glasshouse. Both are houses weak in structure.

Those Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones Story

These lines first appeared in Chaucer’s Epic poem Troilus and Criseyde. The background story of this proverb is very interesting. This poem depicts the situation of the Sage of Troy.

“A Trojan soothsayer named Calchas predicts Troy’s fall and flees the city in fear. He shifts his wealth to the Greeks, abandoning his daughter, Criseyde. The Trojans treat Criseyda badly. . She meets Troilus the warrior who mocks the love and anger god of Cupid.

As a result, Cuid decides to punish Troilus by falling in love with Criseyde. Her uncle Pandarus helped Troilus to write a love letter to Criseyde and bring the pair closer. 

Pandarus arranges a meeting and short night stay for them. Both confess love for each other. In the meanwhile, Calchus misses her daughter. He decides to make a deal in return for Criseyde. Trolleys and everyone don’t like this deal. He thinks he should elope Cryesdes but she refuses to do so. She makes promises to Troilus that she will return to Troy within 10 days. When she returns to her father she realizes it is very hard to keep her promise. Criseyde did not come after ten days. This makes Troilus curse his fortune. It has the conclusion of “all goods must come to an end:”

Those Who Live in Glass House Should Not Throw Stones in Spanish?

In Spanish, this proverb is written as:

“los que viven en casas de cristal no deben tirar piedras”

Do Not Throw Stones If You Live in a Glass House?

The above line is a famous proverb: those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. It means don’t harm others by your words and acts if you yourself are vulnerable. 

What Doesn’t Throw Stones at Your Neighbours If Your Own Windows Are Glass Mean?

It means don’t criticize your neighbors or others for bad qualities if you yourself are not perfect. When you can’t accept criticism of your neighbor you don’t have the right to judge or criticize them.

What will happen if your neighbors attack your weak points with the same criticism. 

Last Lines

We are now at the end of this post. It is extremely knowledgeable for those who think living in a glasshouse has something to do with “throwing stones”. Here throwing stone does not mean stone in reality. It means the stones of words or critics or remarks that we pass on to others carelessly. 

We should be careful in our judgment of others. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-3

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 10