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.

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

I hope you will too.

This week, I have a proverb from Bengal and two interesting quotes about the relative forces of nature: one from a science fiction program and the other from the world’s most acclaimed playwrights – William Shakespeare

outdoors 2

As the master is away, the workers take rest.

Bengali Proverb

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“The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity.”

“And the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.”
— Miranda and Spock, “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” (Star Trek: The Original Series)

Sea lion kiss

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

William Shakespeare

Who would have thought there was a common thread between these a Science fiction fantasy and the Bard’s acclaimed words. Do you see a connection? If so, what is the connection you see between the two quotes?

Something to Ponder About

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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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12 Responses to Proverbial Thursday – Global Words of Wisdom

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    I think the first quote brings about the laziness in us, or our desire to be free from control and do what we want to do, the things that make us happy. There is only so much we can work until we feel tired and want a break. Sometimes that is only possible if the boss watching over us turns the other way – and that reminds me of the inequality in this world. And some of us can only find so much happiness in being told what to do, and our true happiness lies in running wild with our passions.

    The second quote: Glory is certainly right there in diversity. While difference can push us apart, with an open mind we can come to respect each other’s differences and learn from each other. When we embrace diversity, there are so many more connections we can make. Which leads to the third quote: meaning and beauty often lie all around us, in all different kinds places, spaces, objects, conversations.

    The Shakespeare quote. Deep. When we let ourselves appreciate nature, I think we often feel small, dwarfed by its beauty and our routine lives may even seem trivial. Appreciating our surrounds, I think we come to see that we may want the same things as each other, and also share the same problems – ultimately we are all human, one race.

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    • I am curious about this Bengali proverb, Mabel and I wonder if there is either something in the proverb, that has been lost in translation, or whether this proverb is aimed at the boss rather than the employee? Is it a warning for bosses to keep their eyes on their employees? Perhaps you are right, it is as you suggest, that we must take breaks, in an unrelentingly difficult job, when and where we can. I am on the fence with this one, and I don’t know which way I think the interpretation is heading!
      This is unlike me!!
      I do so like how you comment on the true happiness being found in running wild with our passions. “Being passionate about something bringing happiness” – hmmmm. That is interesting if we think about it too.
      Why do our passions bring so much happiness to us? Is it the freedom to do what we like, ( within reason), or the type of task, itself, being one that produces something beautiful in our eyes, eg. creative pursuits, making items, in healing the sick, in discovering something new that has potential for improving life? By dictionary definition, passion is having, showing, or caused by strong feelings or beliefs. Passionate can be interchanged for words like ardent, fervent, zealous, vehement, fiery, heated, feverish, emotional, heartfelt, as well as, eager, excited, animated, spirited, fanatical, frenzied, wild, fierce, consuming, violent, tumultuous, raging uncontrollable, addicted to, devoted. Quite a range of words but all found at the extreme end of the spectrum of emotional language. I have never considered passions to be extreme, but in a sense they are. This kind of ‘extreme’ takes us out of the ordinary realm, the everyday pedestrian nature of things, and this in turn, perhaps, is what creates the happiness? I have departed from the meaning of the quote itself, in this discussion but I guess it is a bit like the worker getting some rest from his main task!!! LOL!!
      In regard to the second quote, An open mind is an absolutely essential key to a widespread acceptance of diversity, by the general public. A closed mind will refuse to see any positive side, and get stuck in the negatives. We see more negatives at some times more than others. Perhaps when there are a lot of other pressures in life, the outlet might be to criticize and blame, rather than empathize with another who differs from us in some way. I thought the Star Trek quote was lovely, especially given the time it was written. To observe that differences create beauty and give meaning to our lives! This is profound! It reminds me again of the quote we were discussing about winners needing every opposing competitor in a race to create the winner him/herself.
      Furthermore, without the differences, we could not appreciate ourselves anymore than we could appreciate any others. How could we see any desirable qualities if we could not see/know how we are dissimilar? Those who seek to vilify others might continue to look closer and closer for finer differences. If the person or thing was of similar nature, would they begin to find fault in smaller areas of contrast, no matter how small, in order to raise their own flawed self esteem. A kind word embraces and collaborates, an unkind word only separates and divides.
      I am glad that you see a link between the quotes. I certainly did.

      And Shakespeare clearly saw a commonality in all of us, despite some incredibly various contrasts, across people, species, and things! We are all of the one world, so by essence we are all kin! As you say, “One race,” Mabel, I couldn’t agree more!

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    • Mabel Kwong says:

      I actually like it when a quote takes us both ways, like the Bengali quote. It sort of makes me realise how many perspectives and stories are out there, and how they are actually all interconnected.

      Passion. Yes, you are so right that it encompasses so many kinds of emotions, feelings and beliefs. Passion is not just limited to creativity but how we feel about someone or a certain cause. It is also what distinguishes us and it makes us realise the difference in this world. More often than not we’re passionate about different things because different things make us tick.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is so right, Mabel. Not everyone sees that we are all interconnected. Everyone has something interesting to say or a story to tell, they may not always reveal it.
      For those who are not passionate or who have lost passion for things, I think it is more than disillusionment and even laziness. Your comments and our discussion has led me to think that a lack of motivation or passion is this desire for a break, or rest (as in the proverb), because finding true happiness is so much about freedom to do as we wish. If a person has been repressed or controlled by a boss, a family member, or friend for some time, surely that must stamp out all feelings of passion and a sense of free will or freedom. Passion and freedom do seem to hand in hand. A young man I know appears to be suffering a kind of personal crisis, he appears to have “lost his way” is depressed and chooses to live a minimalist, extremely low key, laid back lifestyle and seemingly rejects the modern work ethic altogether after having a solid work history from the time he could legally work! I could not empathize with the rationale behind his decision to reject societal norms, until I read back over your comments. Now I see that his behaviour is directly correlated to his recent history of being totally under the control of employers and a over controlling abusive spouse. This is a reaction to those cumulative events and must play out in a natural course until he can once again find his passion and life stabilizes again. Our discussions can be so enlightening!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was just reading this quote from Nietzsche that seems particularly relevant here, Mabel.
      Living in a constant chase after gain compels people to expend their spirit to the point of exhaustion. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tidiousted says:

    Never talk about ropes when visiting a hanged man’s family – Spanish proverb

    Idleness breeds lust – Chinese proverb

    Never test a river’s depth with both feet – African proverb

    Everyone walks the furthest in their own company – Icelandic proverb

    🙂

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  3. Hi. I am creating a book about our Norwegian relatives who immigrated to America for my great aunt who is 85. She has done a lot of research on our family history. I am a graphic designer. We are going to self publish 35 copies of the book. I would love to use one of your images of your rosemaling as a graphic element on every page of the book. If you would consider this, we would of give appropriate credit for the rosemaling and the photograph. If you’d like to see a pdf draft of a few pages of the book, please let me know. If you’d like to receive payment, I’m open to that, too. Your work is beautiful. Thank you! -Kristin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kristin, That a lovely idea and many thanks for your comment and interest. I appreciate that and would love to discuss this more with you. Could you please be more specific about which Rosemaling image you are interested in? Is it the header image on my blog, or one on another page? And I would be pleased to see a pdf clip of several pages of your proposed book, if you would like to email that to me. amandamac5@hotmail.com

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