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 the message 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 –

He that has a choice has trouble –Dutch proverb

I dwell in possibility – Emily Dickinson


Remember that not getting what you want,

is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck – Unknown

Something to Ponder About this Proverbial Thursday





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

  1. The Dutch proverb: Trouble is always all around us, I think. A lot of the time it is a matter of choice whether we stay out of trouble or not. We can act in a certain way, and we can always act in another. Ultimately, a choice boils downs to our character and our values, what we believe in and what we are willing to do to get what and where we want to. Also, maybe the quote is referring to greed. For instance, the more choices we have, the more we may be able to get – we can pick more although we may not necessarily need all those wants.

    Emily Dickinson: This quote reminds me of imagination, which we all have. So many of us daydream each day, especially when we’re having a slow day at work. I think a lot of us like to get lost in possibility because we are constantly the next big thing. But as dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling said, our next big moment will always be ahead of us. There is no time like living in the now. Then again, possibility and imagination can inspire us to be a better version of ourselves.

    Unknown: This one reminds me of a blessing in disguise. Sometimes what we want may not meant to be, and going down another path might be more rewarding at the end of the day. Things may not be what they seem to be, and all we can do is go with the flow.


    1. Hi Mabel, I sometimes post proverbs that baffle me. The Dutch one is I have to admit, one of those, so I was super interested in your interpretation of it. I do think it has a very very deep meaning, but perhaps most of this has been lost in translation, perhaps. Life is always simpler when it is predictable, isn’t it? It is not creative, but it is safe, and perhaps trouble-free. I do think your suggestion that it pertains to greed is sound. I think of the supermarket shelves with the multitudes of different brands of say, kitchen cleansers for instance. Sometimes the choice is overwhelming. Too many. In choosing holiday destinations or household appliances, we might rely on reviews to help us decide which one to purchase. That ummming and ahhhing is trouble I guess. If there was less choice, there would be no trouble. But don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for less choice. I think the old Soviet system showed everyone that little or no choice is doomed to failure. Choice excites us, and one would think a lack of it, might inspire us, but I don’t think that is true, do you? The modern world has spoilt us with choice of clothing, so many different colours, styles and shapes, as any girl who stares at her fashion wardrobe each morning trying to select and co-ordinate an outfit, might relate. But the proverb does not provide us with any advice or suggestions on how best to navigate the world of choice. Perhaps I will find another proverb one day that does?
      At the opposite end of the spectrum we have Emily Dickinson living in a world of possibility, of endless choice, as she is only limited by her imagination. What a wonderful thing imagination is!!! It can take us anywhere, do anything, and even help us escape from our sorrows. It fulfills our wants, not caring at all for our needs. Imagination I think, is quite a fundamental requirement for a writer, particularly a writer of fiction. Imagination can spark inventions too.
      The final quote I felt could relate to the other quotes, but particularly the proverb. We do have choices in many things, in the modern world, and sometimes can lead to trouble. If serendipity or fate gives us what we might need, as opposed to what we might want, this can lead to an opportunity for personal growth, that is perseverance through what we might perceive as difficult circumstances, even though we may not know it at the time. This quote reminded me a bit of ‘karma’ – and it can also relate to greed.
      Do you think it might also refer to having expectations of others that are too high? We might need a reality check? I suppose I do tend to think of a negative connotation with this quote.


      1. “Choice excites us, and one would think a lack of it, might inspire us, but I don’t think that is true” Ah, choice. I think you opened up a can of worms here. I think that with choice, we can get more inspired. More choices, more possibilities, more room for difference. I like your example of having so many things to choose from when we’re shopping. Each week when I do my grocery shop, I tell myself no more than 20 minutes in Woolies given I have my shopping list. But I usually end up spending more than half an hour shopping and thinking of all those foods I can cook at home, lol.

        Interesting that you tied karma to the last quote. I think it’s very fitting. And expectations. Very relevant. I remember this saying, “aim high, shoot low”, which is also a song, and I think it means aim high for your dreams but remember along the way, it may not always be that easy. Take your chances when you can.


  2. Ahhhjn – the one that really spoke to me was the choice one – and the trouble – I once heard about a study where they measured deciding times – and I guess folks chose quickest and with certainty when they had one two options – and the least uncertainty and longest deciding times (or unable to decide) came when folks had three or more choices – so I guess sometimes less choice is better – hm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Y. Thanks for your comment, and this study you refer to, certainly does illustrate the dilemma we face when there is too much choice. To say that this is what the proverb refers to makes sense to me. It is conceivable that we waste a lot of time deciding on options when we are spoilt for choice. There are so many more variable to compare and contrast. It reminds me of buying a car. Some have comfortable seats, any model great accessories, still another extra safety features, and yet another fold in side mirrors. Not one car can offer everything, so we must decide which one….. Deciding the best of the worst, is sometimes more difficult than deciding between good and bad, or better and worse, don’t you think? What an interesting study! I wonder in what applications would they use their findings?


      1. what an interesting comment – and the car analogy was great – my mother went through a rough time in 2012 finding one and it was exactly as you stated – the best of the worst for her…

        and i feel like this was another powerful point you made:

        spoilt for choice.

        Liked by 1 person

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