What Does "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Mean?

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25 Answers

Matt Cashen Profile
Matt Cashen answered
The meaning to the saying "a rolling stone gathers no moss" is as follows.

It is meant to suggest that while a stone moves continuously, it has no time to gather moss as moss will only be gathered on a stationery object.

This translates literally with the stone becoming a person and the moss becoming commitment, problems or anything perceived as negative, trying to gather on the person who in turn keeps moving, preventing problems gathering in the first place.

For instance a traveller could use the expression as a way to describe his life; wandering from place to place means he has no time to establish any ties, gain or form any relationships which could break down or encounter any of the day to day problems people generally tend to accumilate whilst going about their days; the expression "a rolling stone gathers no moss" could then be used by this person when asked to explain his life choice.
Rajeev Jadhav Profile
Rajeev Jadhav answered
The saying means as follows :

A stone that rolls cannot collect any moss and the one thats not moving does. This is the literal meaning.

Now this means that a person who moves from one place to another, one job to another, one field to another(career wise) will not manage to collect money, property and materialistic things in life. Because this person will never be in a position to settle down in life and will not able to make a fortune for himself.
d ds Profile
d ds answered
Human life is dynamic and so are the situations that we encounter and the environment that we live in. This means that the element of change is always there and especially today, things are changing at such a rapid pace that its even difficult to keep track of them. Those who refuse to change perish and no one remembers them. If you do not have the ability or will to change then it means that you will be left behind. Now turning to the proverb, it basically symbolizes the same thing. Stones that stay in the same place for years become covered with moss and they lose their identity after some time. Same is the case with people and even organizations we have seen many organizations fail because they were inflexible and unwilling to adapt to the new ways. When you are constantly learning you evolve overtime and you are able o maintain your pace to match it with the external environment and do not fall behind because those who fall behind are left behind.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
What my grandmother told me when she said that "a rolling stone gathers no moss" is when a person easily quits at anything, he will never get anywhere.   Moss, therefore, in this case is the knowledge and the experience one gets when he/she perseveres in the work he/she is doing.   The low pay, the hard work, and the stumbling blocks that come with everything we do in life must NOT discourage us from pursuing any endeavor.   As the saying goes, "no pain, no gain".
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A rolling stone gathers no moss means you always move forward and shine
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
"a Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss "

it means that people who are always moving, with no roots and are always trying to avoid responsibilities, at the end, they have nothing in their hand.

So it is better to stick to one thing, realize your responsibilities and work hard in order to get reward at the end.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it means that a stone that is rolling doesn't get bogged down with stuff. You keep things fresh and new. It's hard for you to settle into a rut and become "reactive" when you are a rolling stone. If you are in a "proactive" state you are always growing and changing and less likely to gather negativity.
nettie Profile
nettie answered
A person that is always on the go, and it doesn,t mean that they are always doing something productive,they just have to be on the move. There are times when they finish one thing and move on to the next. Sometimes these folks are productive. A workaholic could be linked to this pharse.  
Cheryl White Profile
Cheryl White answered
Ive heard someone say if I stay moving and busy I wont get into trouble. Something about idleness... Its interesting because you can tell a lot about someone by the way they answer it.
Anita Goolsby Profile
Anita Goolsby answered
Wow, I guess I'd missed all the negative connotations to this.  I thought it just meant that one kept moving forward, and didn't get stuck in a rut. A moss covered stone tends to get cemented in place, over time.  In our family, we have converted it to "A closed mouth gathers no foot", which is a very positive take.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
"a rolling stone gathers no moss" means that you accept what you have and you keep trying to make it better, you progress. That you excel in finding ways to make your life and your self better.

If the stone never stops rolling that means you realize you can always make your self a better person!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As you can see, there are many interpretations. This question used to often be given to those whose sanity was in question. If they gave a literal answer, they were often considered insane. The idea is that an insane person doesn't have the capability for abstract thought, which is now generally understood as not being a very reliable assumption.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think this means that the person who cannot stay at one place can never have friends and all the people around him hate him because he is one time with one party and the other time with the other one.
  Moreover it may have a second point that is as the running water is always pure .Similarly the person who keeps on moving one place to another in search of more and more better he is always successful.He has a great experience of life.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
One got to keep on moving in life rather than sit there and gather useless materials.Its like a book in a library thats always read.It can't gather dust.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
"A rolling stone gathers no moss"  means that you should not procastinate, Doing the right thing at the right time.
Chidichi June 2010
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it means that the person - however he  or she would like to settle down is and trust its partner - he or she is afraid too. Because he or she is afraid to be disappointed by the other person. And that is the reason they avoid commitment.
Heather Ferguson Profile
The phrase means if one keeps moving they have nothing keeping them in one spot. Moss takes a long time to grow and if you keep moving, you are not going to have long term ties to one area.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it means that he/she will not be stopped from anything that comes in there way when they start something.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think the saying means in one instance that it is about doing something new and different... Or maybe better... Like some people say: "been there, done it" ... It's how much improvement you can make as much as possible... Eventually, the stone will come to a stop though :)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Rolling stones gathers no moss means being firm in ones knowledge position under all circumstances.The movement must be subjective with a great intrinsic upsurge.It does not mean non-movement .The stress is on firm conviction in ones knowledge arena with spiritual traits.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It actually means that a person who keeps rolling will never have a solid base and will have to be self reliant.People can not trust him as areal friend . Moss means family and a coterie of friends and regular relationships.

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