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Man proposes, God disposes

Human beings express their intention of doing a thing, but it is God who decides whether it is to be done. Hence the expression Deo volente, abbreviated DV, which means ‘God willing’.

‘I shall see you again next year, DV.’

Origin: This proverb is a translation from “The Imitation of Christ” by the German-born Thomas Kempis (c.1380-1471): “For the resolutions of the just depend rather on the grace of God than on their own wisdom; and in Him they always put their trust, whatever they take in hand. For man proposes, but God disposes; neither is the way of man in his own hands.” This may be a reflection of a verse in the Bible (Proverbs 16:9): “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Shakespeare, too, had a similar message in “Hamlet” by Hamlet: “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”