Proverbial Thursday – Global Proverbs and Sayings

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.

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Dig a well then close the well, but do not fire a workerArabic Proverb

 The Arabic proverb is somewhat of an enigma to me. Is it metaphorical, literal, or satirical?

The Saying this week comes from a strong, peace- loving person, and again an enigmatic quote that really makes me ponder the things our enemies can teach us. The value of human life, all human life, whether they are your friend or enemy.

Tragic circumstances help you develop inner strength, the courage to face them without emotional breakdown. Who teaches this? Not your friend, but your enemy. Dalai Lama

What do you make of this week’s words of wisdom?

Something for you to ponder about this Thursday

Proverbial thursdfly sml 3932

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About Forestwoodfolk

Scandinavian culture, literature and traditions are close to my heart, even though I am Australian. I have Scandinavian, Frisian and Prussian/Silesian ancestry and for that reason, I feel a connection with that part of the world. I am an avid Nordic Crime fiction reader, and enjoy photography, writing and a variety of cooking and crafts, and traditional decorative art forms. Politically aware and egalitarian by nature, I have a strong environmental bent.
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9 Responses to Proverbial Thursday – Global Proverbs and Sayings

  1. hungrydai says:

    I do like that Arabic proverb. I would hate having to fire good workers for sure although I have fired a lot of bad ones in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, for you Hungrydai, it is literal. I totally agree on not firing good workers. They are a great asset to any company. Isn’t there another saying that goes something like, “a company is only as good as its workers?” By that logic, you would definitely want to hold onto good workers!! As for bad workers, I am curious as to whether there was a recurring reason that necessitated you firing them or were there many different reasons?

      Liked by 1 person

    • hungrydai says:

      Well there were varying reasons. One was for watching pornography during working time and he had been warned the day before. I made him leave on the spot. Another was for always being very late or absent on certain days. Another one was supposed to be stationed at the German Embassy in Kathmandu but he would go home for the afternoon instead. And I actually fired one young guy for smelling sweaty. I gave some warnings and even sent him to take a shower in the office bathroom once. He didn’t like water it seemed and finally it became too much for the other office staff. I fired one for stealing a storage card from my laptop and another for being disloyal. All these examples are from our family office in Kathmandu.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Those reasons are not what I expected you to say. I guess it shows how diverse your workforce was. It is not what I would imagine Nepali workers to be, but my knowledge of Nepal is dated. May I ask what the family business was, or is that too personal? Ignore the question if you would rather not say. I have a special interest in Nepal, so that is why I am a little curious. As for the sweaty man, who was fired – I wonder if his personal hygiene improved after that?

      Liked by 1 person

    • hungrydai says:

      hahaha I doubt it. He was a bit thick with it. We had an air ticketing agency in the city. I loved the job although the office rent was crippling. We moved our office to the ground floor of our family house and it was a million times better. That was before everybody decided to move to Portugal though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    The Arabic one stumped me at first. It got me scratching my head. I’m thinking it refers to moments when someone does something for us and we don’t take much of a liking to what they came up with – it could be a colleague or even a friend whom you asked a favour from. They might have put in a lot of effort but unfortunately it is not something you may like or not something that works. Perhaps the quote means: don’t throw a relationship down the drain just because of one mistake someone made, no matter how bad the mistake was. Hating each other and bringing each other down doesn’t get us anywhere.

    The Dalai Lama quote is a thought provoking one. Often our enemies are the ones who test our patience – enemies being people who perhaps are in competition against us, or those whom we dislike for one reason or another. Our enemies can push us to the edge, push us to our wits end especially when they are trying to step over us. If we keep level-headed through such times, we learn to focus on ourselves and focus on what we have and try our very best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What wise advice Mabel: keep level headed and focus ourselves in face of an enemy onslaught! Your spin on the Arabic proverb is also sound but I have to say I didn’t think of that! It surely is an interesting proverb! It would be great to hear what Arabic folk think to compare with our interpretation.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The arabic one is interesting, i dont think i fully get even after reading your post and others comments. May be the act of digging will release the anger one feels and will calm you down and save you from firing a good worker. Stop you from making a decision in haste / anger. Love Dalai Lama. I do love how you put your thoughts around the quotes or proverb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comment ThoughtsnLife and I see you found your way here even before I had responded on your blog!! I try to post a diverse range of proverbs but there are a few that completely puzzle me! I welcome your interpretation and agree it might relate to haste. HungryDai’s comment also made sense to me. Quotes and proverb are really incredible the way they distill thoughts down to the real essence of the meaning they are trying to convey. It is like poetry, every word weighed and measured, before it is uttered. (Applies more to proverbs than to quotes). I do hope you will stop by again.

      Liked by 1 person

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