Proverbial Thursday – Global Proverbs

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

In coming weeks, there will be a series of Swedish proverbs. Many of them speak of age -old traditions, customs or knowledge, and even can be a comment on life in general.


Magra myggor biter värst.  Thin Mosquitoes bite the worst. – Swedish proverb


The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche’s quote is intriguing and one that I am still cogitating on. What do you think it means?

Proverbial Thursday offers Something To Ponder About

Proverbial sml


9 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Proverbs”

  1. Two quotes this week that I do not get. But I always love a bit of a challenge. The first one: I don’t know the difference between thin mosquitoes and fat ones, but I suppose the thin ones are the hungrier ones and the ones that are more eager to feast. So, metaphorically speaking, maybe that sort of points to the fact that negativity comes when you least expect it. Or, those who are likely to turn on us or stab us in the back can be someone we have never thought of.

    Second quote: perhaps the essence in art lies not in the creation or in the final product, but in the joy and inspiration it brings others – the moment that someone feels uplifted by immersing themselves in a work of art (be it gazing at a painting, listening to a song) and they are propelled to be a better person.


    1. Hi Mabel, Hope summer is treating you well.

      The Swedish quote may be metaphorical, or it may be literal. As I am not Swedish, I can not say for sure which it is. As Sweden has a lot of waterways and lakes, I have heard people complain about the mosquitoes there in summertime. ( I haven’t had that experience of Sweden but it still may be true enough). So, the proverb could be literal, in that the bite of a thin and therefore, very hungry, mosquito, is the worst of all bites, as you alluded. As to the metaphorical meaning, there are many ways this could be interpreted. I wonder if it is a reference to stereotypes? You know the stereotype of the fat jolly man, as opposed to the thin scrooge? It is not a stereotype I believe in, but I wonder if it could have been so, in old time Sweden. It is a interesting exercise in human psychology as to which body types are considered most trustworthy. Your interpretation in regard to negativity, coming from an unsuspected origin, I think, also has merit. Funnily enough, Nietzsche has some comments that could possibly relate to the proverb: “Insects sting, not from malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics – they desire our blood, not our pain.” This throws a slightly different light onto our interpretations of the Swedish proverb.

      The second quote is still a bit of a mystery to me and I think you have given a possible clue to its meaning. Is the artist showing gratitude for the opportunity to gaze upon a truly beautiful scene and stop time by painting it? If so, how does this apply to works such as “The Scream?”
      Nietzsche certainly did like to make one think with his jarring words!! He has many more interesting quotes, that I will feature in time to come.

      One further thought: Gratitude itself, is an emotion. Art is something that provokes emotion. I think that N. felt those artists that feel gratitude when creating their art do end up with a fantastic piece of work as gratitude is a powerful emotion. Do you think this is plausible? Wow…. N. really makes me think!!!!


      1. I like the idea of the stereotype fitting the mosquito quite. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The ones who might look trustworthy might be the ones who turn on us at some point. I’m not sure how the mosquito body works, but I was thinking they go from big to thin….food for thought.

        I like the Nietzsche proverb. Some of us will do what we have to do to survive, or provide for the ones we love. It’s human nature, human and basic instinct. Hard to argue with that.

        The second quote is really interesting, and now that you have added your thoughts, it really could mean either this or that. Art is something that brings out our deepest emotions, possibly our most honest emotions.

        Liked by 1 person

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