Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

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.

xanthostemon chrysanthus

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

I hope you will too.

A Bad Worker Quarrels with his Tools –  Chinese Proverb

and this:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”


“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content”

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

I have always thought to do a good job, it is important to have the right tools, but that isn’t always possible, so if we quarrel with the second-rate tools, are we still a bad worker?

I can see a correlation between the two quotes, from Leo Tolstoy. Can you?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Something to Ponder About this Thursday.




8 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom”

  1. The first quote: I’m thinking tools can refer to your colleagues. Often at work, you work in a team and you share tasks. Even if you don’t and have a role where you have a task(s) that only you do in the whole office, you are a part of a company at the end of the day. Assumingly you share the same values as your work place. But if you don’t and don’t believe in the work that you do there or the people whom you work with, you’d find it hard to find a purpose day in and day out – which can affect productivity.

    The second quote: I have to degree with the happiness part of it. We’re all individuals; our families all come from different circumstances and what is happy to someone may not be happy to another. Likewise what makes us unhappy. However, I do think that tolerance with each other makes us happier with each other at the end of the day.

    The third quote: Yes, totally agree with this. None of us have all the answers to all questions. Also, we can’t always get what we want and not everything is meant to be. By striving for perfection, quite often we focus on one goal or one aspect of our lives. In fact, the different roles in our life all come together to play the symphony that makes us tick – and that is how we come to appreciate what we have and perhaps feel content too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an excellent and comprehensive comment, Mabel. Thank you. Firstly, your take on the Chinese proverb where the tools are a metaphor for co workers is great and an angle I hadn’t considered. In this sense, it also relates more closely to the quotes. I would like to say that I really like the way you described the different roles in our lives to be a symphonic action! We are forced to wear so many different ‘hats’ in the modern world. In our daily lives, we interact with so many people and like an orchestra it won’t sound good if each musician or part does their own thing. Working together whilst conscious of others and trying to complement rather than contradict or counter another is more ‘melodious.’

      I think that in working as a team, each person may contribute strengths that others may not have. If this is valued within the team, the team works perfectly, like a symphony! Focusing too much on perfection will lead inevitably to disappointment. It is perfection that keeps propelling us forward to strive harder, faster, longer, better. So what would achievement of perfection look like in a constant state? There would be no quarrels, no clashes, everything would be easy – perhaps too easy, too dull? Would this lead to apathy as there would be few challenges to overcome, or, would it mean endless happiness and contentment? If so, then I guess this would be Nirvana! Yet I can’t see Nirvana being a workable situation in this world. We all seek it and want it but where would we be without some kind of challenge?
      Would we then stagnate or could we potentially still move forward and continue to develop our world in a blissful dream like state?

      Secondly, are all happy families alike? This is such a broad statement and the only way I could see it as true is in very general terms. I am inclined to agree with you and disagree with the quote. Happiness is very personal and dependent on attitude, emotions and state of mind as much as external forces. Not everyone feels happy at the same experience.
      Tolerance I ferl, is a kind of catalyst for the hypothetical situations we have been discussing. Tolerance for other family member’s foibles and follies makes for a happier family that syncs better.
      Tolerance for co worker’s quirks and idiosyncrasies makes for a more peaceful workplace.
      Tolerance in the global sense avoids conflict.
      Perhaps my final comment will be that we should strive for tolerance as opposed to perfection. Could universal tolerance lead to its own Nirvana like state of contentment Mabel?


      1. I don’t know if any of us will attain Nirvana. Without quarrels or without different thoughts, the world will be a boring place. We all have our own biases, so disagreements are inevitable in my opinion. It is hard to not get carried away sometimes with something we feel passionate about.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You know you are right that disagreements make for a more interesting life but is there an emotional cost to conflict. Then we have to weigh up between an interesting life and disagreements and lower levels of emotional energy and the alternative which might be boredom and less conflict. It would be a weird world if everyone thought the same and agreed. Human progress would stagnate. Mistakes and quarrels can teach us things and reveal different perspectives. You are right Nirvana is not possible but I would love to see more tolerance in the world!!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. A poorly performing presidential candidate recently complained that his microphone wasn’t working properly during a debate. I thought it was a childish way of blaming the “tool” rather than take responsibility for his shortcomings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that would have been interesting to watch his body language when he was saying that. I think it is claimed the eyes shift if a person is lying! And it certainly reminds of the proverb relating to a bad worker and his tools!! Thanks again for commenting. I hope you’ll stop by again next time.


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