‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’

Meaning:You can give someone an opportunity, but you can’t force them to take it

Explanation:One of the oldest proverbs still in use today, a version of this expression is recorded in Middle English as early as 1175. It can be found in subsequent texts throughout the centuries and encapsulates one of the most ancient mindsets of English-speaking peoples.

Example: I’ve given him contact details for a few businesses that are recruiting, but he still hasn’t done anything. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.