Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

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 think so too.

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I have never before sourced a quote or proverb from Kenya, and so I was delighted to  find Sifiso’s wonderful blog, which was the source of the following proverb:

 

A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning –

Kenyan proverb

 

The Quote this week comes from Tao Te Ching; which Wikipedia tells us, “.. is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. The Tao Te Ching is ascribed to Lao Tzu, whose historical existence has been a matter of scholastic debate. His name, which means “Old Master,” has only fueled controversy on this issue.” (Kaltenmark 1969:10).

 

He who knows he has enough is rich –

Tao Te Ching

Do you agree with the quote?

There is much excess in the world, and it seems in the West, that we have begun to depreciate what we already have.

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Strip back modern life to absolute essentials and we realize how much excess we accumulate during life. Is it morally acceptable or morally repugnant when others go hungry or find basic living a struggle?

  Should we not live more simply, so that more might simply live?

Why do we persist with this collecting strategy, when we know for certain we are but passing custodians – we cannot take material goods with us when we die!

Please let me know your thoughts in a comment below.

Something Proverbial to Ponder About

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About Forestwoodfolkart

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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17 Responses to Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

  1. leggypeggy says:

    I agree with both proverbs. In relation to the second, we try to live more simply. I am often shocked by people’s lust to acquire possessions.

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    • Thank you Peggy. Lust is certainly a way to describe some people’s shopping habits. It borders on a mild addiction. The latest phones and tech gadgets especially. The companies also build products designed to last but a short time, in order to increase profits. When I visited Nepal, I realised how little one needed in order to live and be happy. Stuff doesn’t buy happiness.
      Have you found it easier to live with less ‘stuff’? Any obstacles? And did your partner support you in this way of thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy says:

      I love living with less stuff and have a lot more to get rid of. Poor John is better at releasing things than I am, but we’re getting there. Art and books are the hardest to part with.

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    • Art is very difficult to part with as often we have formed an emotional attachment to it. Books I give to the second hand exchange feeling that they will have a new life. You can also release your book to the ‘wild’ at shopping centres or offices. Check out bookcrossing.com You register your book as being left at a shop or bus stop as a gift to a stranger and you can follow it as it moves around if people update it’s details on the Web. I have released quite a few books this way.

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    • leggypeggy says:

      I have lots of outlets for books. My problem is deciding which ones to let go! 🙂
      P.S. Not sure why the polldaddy links are showing up on my comments. I’m not adding it.

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    • Oh I see. That is a big problem with the books. I added the polldaddy option on my site but I might remove it as it is unused.

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    • leggypeggy says:

      If you click on the polldaddy link, you’ll see it’s just gobbledegook. I’d have no idea what to do with it.

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  2. Mel & Suan says:

    People who resort to physical violence have often run out of reason, assuming that had any in the first instance. And for those who are content, they are already wealthy!

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  3. There is a wonderful book written in the late 80’s or so by David R. Hawkins M.D. PhD. called Power vs Force. It explains that subject very well. I still have my copy. I keep a lot of books that are essential reference books and many will never leave my lending library. They will be donated on my death. Stuff, I’m giving it away as quickly as possible and want for nothing other than seeing things with fresh eyes, I love new technology as it enables me to do things I could otherwise not do but if it doesn’t enrich my life, I pass it by. Enough is a very good word here. I like this.

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    • If it doesn’t enrich your life, pass it by. That is good advice. Some books are special and we keep coming back to them. I guess we have to find a balance. Thanks for your comment. I am really glad you like my Proverbial Thursday posts. I do like analysing them. So many words and reminders for our lives. I haven’t read the Hawkins book. Is it a psychological text?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I guess that is what you would call the David Hawkins book. It is non fiction. Not an easy read but some good information.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    Two interrelated quotes that speak volumes about the way we live today. I don’t think many of us mean to use force to reason, though. When I think of force, I think of someone raising their voice, maybe banging their fists or objects around, making some noise really. To go to the more extremes, in the olden days force might mean war. Some of us might have a temper and so find it challenging to control how we get our opinions across.
    Then again, there are some among us who think we are the most important in the world and deserve everything, wanting our own way and may do whatever it takes to get what we want. In general, I think rational reasoning is hard to achieve at times – we need to remember to respect opinions, listen and not overly criticise.
    As for the second quote, it reminds me to appreciate what we have around us. Like you touched on about simplicity, usually we already have a lot more than we necessary. The more we have, the more options we realise we have and the more creative we may get at living ourselves in terms of aesthetics and visuals, maybe even going about new ways of doing things. Not that this all is a bad things. Sometimes we might just get caught up in all and think more is more when really less is more. Love how you said it and you came up with a fantastic quote yourself: Should we not live more simply, so that more might simply live? 😀


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    • You said, “Some of us might have a temper and so find it challenging to control how we get our opinions across.” When I read that I thought what an amazing person you are to always see the positive side in each person, even those who might wound others by their words or actions. You are right of course, as I think the kinds of people with a temper or who are scared of reasoning, feel very frustrated that the other person does not think along the same lines as they do. They tend to believe there can only be one way to approach things, one way to see or do things, one perfect solution, when in fact opposing views too can have value in problem solving, and in turn lead to achieving, or contributing to, towards a common goal. Think of the person in the workplace that comes up with the “‘out of the box’ creative solutions. Would those solutions ever be heard /considered if no one listened to reasoning? Differing views can offer an opposing viewpoint or perspective and it is not helpful if a person feels frightened of this. I think education has an important role in bringing awareness in this regard. In regards to losing one’s temper, I have to admit to being like that when I was much younger. I felt inadequate in many ways, and was not able to express myself well enough to get my point across. Reading and broadening one’s mind extend your perspective on life, and also give you more options and strategies. It is not necessary to raise one’s temper, and can only lead to more wounding, so we must do what we can to keep our emotional energy reserves full so that our perspective is one that takes in the bigger picture, rather than focusing on one part of it. Knowing also that your role is valued is very important. If one feels worthless, they will tend to stay quiet for some time, and then might explode out of accumulated frustration. Standing back and playing the role of narrator or an impartial policeman reporting on both sides of the story is better than letting off steam and saying things that you might later regret. Calmly stating your opinion is better. This arises from the knowledge that even if other’s choose not to value your opinion, you know in your heart that everyone in the universe, including yourself, is important and has a right to be here. This knowledge can be very empowering and in turn lead to diminished feeling of rage and frustration. This then leads the way forward to developing reasoning capabilities and feelings.
      Great discussion, Mabel. Thanks so much!
      Regarding simplicity, I once heard an inspiring speaker who was an ambitious young man who gave up his successful and moderately rich life and career to start a shelter for the homeless in Sydney and it was he who inspired me to say the quote you referred to. I adapted it slightly, but his words struck me as so profound: “Live simply so that other can simply live!!” I can’t remember his name but I feel sure the charity/shelter is still operating at Kings Cross somewhere. An amazing speaker!

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    • Mabel Kwong says:

      You are very kind to say that, Amanda. I really do think we get more out of being positive with each other everywhere in the world, and when that happens there are always so much more insightful discussion to be had.

      So true. If no one is open, no creative ideas will get a look at and it would be more of the same old, same old routines. Interesting to hear you had a bit of a temper when it you were younger. I wouldn’t have guessed since you come across as very level headed. Calming stating your opinion is something that I agree with and that will work if we can all start accepeting each of us has something to contribute and a story to tell. Some of us might pride ourselves on achievements to the point that it is ‘in your face’ and there is nothing wrong with that – so long as others have the opportunity to have their say to. As you said, it starts with education but it also starts with acknowledging that the world does not revolve around us.

      Nice to read how you came up with that quote. And that is education right there – learning and being inspired by others and adapting what we’ve gained into our contexts.

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