In the event that an accident occurs, it is better to get injured rather than to lose one’s life. Naturally, when a person is injured, no one comes with condolence messages or to pay their respects.
The Karanga had profound respect for people living with disability and would ensure that the community would all assist one confronted with disability. Disability in those times, like today, could come about from birth, through injuries at war and through accidents or injuries that may occur while hunting or exploring. However there was a clear distinction between the plight of those living with disability and being dead as there was much that someone living with disability was still capable of doing and pursuing. This was cleverly construed by our ancestors as they observed that no one would come to pay their respects or with condolence messages due to a disability.
The proverb is used in two ways. The first is to highlight that in cases of extreme danger or when involved in an accident, one is better of losing anything else but their life. The second is to highlight that the plight of disability should not be treated as death because there is still life after disability.