Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

outdoors 2

 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.

Continuing on the series of African Proverbs, we have another from Kenya this week:

An empty tin makes a lot of noise

(Kenyan Proverb)

Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.

– Stephen Leacock

Stephen P. H Butler Leacock, (1869 –1944) was a Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between the years 1915 and 1925, he was the best-known English-speaking humorist in the world. He is known for his light humour along with criticisms of people’s follies. [Wikipedia]

To enjoy the world without judgement is what a realized life is like

– Charlotte Joko Beck


What do you make of this week’s proverb? Do you find it is true, in your experience?

And the quotes this week:  Both are about life and how we live it:

Is it possible to live a life complete, without judgement?

Or is judgement a necessary, protection mechanism or an evolutionary aberration?

Japanese Garden

Please do join in the discussion.

I would be pleased to hear all thoughts and comments.

Something to Ponder About this Thursday.


21 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms”

  1. Very interesting. I work at the judgement thing. There is a huge difference between judgement and discernment. I don’t care how other’s live their lives as long as they aren’t hurting other people or animals. I can be discerning in how I live mine. I don’t need to participate in something I don’t feel is integrous. I don’t need to openly condemn someone else for living that way. It’s always someone trying to change someone else. Just one opinion and not worth much. Each gets their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an erudite comment! Thank you, Marlene! The difference between judgement and discernment, that really has me thinking. Judging over has an evaluating overtone, either positive or negative, does it not? There appears to be much less criticism or revulsion of a positive evaluation or judgement, than a negative, I think. I had the aim this year to be much less judgemental in life, and yes, to be more discerning – which feels to me to be more about choosing to opt out or opt in, depending on circumstances. Judging has so many “point the finger”connotations. There is an increasing amount of public societal condemnation of how others are living their lives, and I suspect it stems from trying to change someone else, as you commented. Society has an innate drive that unconsciously pushes us into conformity, and deviants from that path are increasingly subjected to public humiliation via technology. And yet,even though I am aware of this, I catch myself still being judgmental at times. It is a hard habit to break. Is it linked to feelings of inferiority – a kind of pulling down of those who are different or are seen to be getting ahead of others in some thought, action, deed or philosophy?
      And in reference to the quote this week: I wonder what a realized life might actually look like?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When we are young, old age seems far. Time may not have been as precious for some. Or that we are so caught up in “life” that we missed out on the relationships, the comraderie of living.
    But as we mature we realize that time cannot be turned back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So very true, Mel & Suan. Life can be so full and demanding. We are pulled in many directions, then it slows and there is pauses long enough for us to reflect. Sometimes I referred to life as passing in a kind of blur, but once this is realized and acknowledged, it is possible to ensure and schedule intervals if necessary, to stop, increase ones awareness and take stock. It doesn’t stop time passing, but for me eliminates or at least, decreases the incidence of regrets I might have that I did not take more notice of passage of time. Peter Høeg wrote an interesting albeit, slightly obscure novel about the concept of time and how to ‘slow it down.’ Have you come across it? Moreover, do you have any tips for living in the ‘present?’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No we have not read Peter.
        For us living in the present means cherishing the time we have with loved ones. We will be pulled in different direction as you pointed out. But make the time spent with loved one quality time!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree that time with loved ones is critical to appreciating time, but it passes so fast!! Quality time is a good approach to making that time more meaningful, memorable and enjoyable. I also believe we need down time to fully appreciate the experiences we have enjoyed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes in fact Quality time for us means doing things together. For example, we make travel plans together. Mel will work on the sights and routing while I focus on the dining, shopping. I also verify his routing. You know men can be a little too “general” in their planning…lol

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The Kenyan proverb reminds me of the saying ’emypty vessles make the most noise’. The person who speaks the loudest or speaks the most doesn’t always necessarily makes the most sense, or doesn’ always make a fair point. You can talk, but talk is just talk. One of my teachers in schools used this phrase around the class a lot when some of my more talktative classmates would not stop talking in class. Needless to say, they didn’t pay much attention to her and they usually didn’t top the class in terms of grades.

    The second quote reminds of enjoying the present and to appeciate what we have in the moment. Maybe the ‘we learn too late’ part is an ode to realising the what we have had when it is gone. There is always much to learn when we focus and pay attention to what is happening aroud us. In a sense, this ties in with the first quote: talk less, listen and observe more to get the most out of a moment.

    I think judging is inevtiable since we are all raised and conditioned a certain way – and so we will react a certain way as per what we know in every sitauation. However, speaking in the context of making day-to-day decisions perhaps at work or even hanging out with your friends, the less judgement the better. That is, not assuming but trying to see reason behind every act in order to understand each other is the fairest way forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mabel! I love the way you linked in the proverbs to the quote. The proverb’s meaning is pretty straightforward, whilst the quotes are a little more obscure. Regret always manifests when we review and reflect on ‘what could have been’ – so living in the present moment, can have us turn regrets and negative reflection into something much more positive and perhaps, more enduring. Even so, the present is so transient, that sometimes we ‘taste’ the present, only to find it has already passed! Time is simply an illusion, as in this link: and this [“Isaac Newton thought of time as a river flowing at the same rate everywhere. Einstein changed this picture by unifying space and time into a single 4-D entity. But even Einstein failed to challenge the concept of time as a measure of change. In Barbour’s view, the question must be turned on its head. It is change that provides the illusion of time. Channeling the ghost of Parmenides, Barbour sees each individual moment as a whole, complete and existing in its own right. He calls these moments “Nows.””]
      So what can we actually take from the present? Experience, Emotions, Learning and perhaps if we listen – Wisdom? I like the concept of living more in the present, but we must be mindful that this thought pattern might become a strain, from trying too hard, or a cop out/excuse that gives an individual an anarchist like free rein to do as he/she wishes. And therein, I come to the last quote and your comment. “The less judgement, the better.” In making my response to you, I feel I am bordering on judging! Where does opinion end and judgement begin?!!! I am conflicted!!! Yet, I totally agree with your point that every action has a reason or motive behind it, however small or large that reason or motive might be. Some might see a naughty child who misbehaves, and can’t follow rules, whilst others see a child progressing towards maturity, experimenting with boundaries, reacting to a stressor, or just trying to make their way in the world, given their individual abilities or disabilities and are but at a certain stage in the journey of life. None of us reach perfection and so we can all learn and progress, wherever we are along the road! I feel I have been way too judgemental in my younger life, and could have been much more empathic of others’ situations. And I wonder what it was that triggered a change in my thought patterns. Do you think education broadens the mind, in intangible ways, that change a person’s emotional responses?


      1. It is interesting what you posed there with the link, tying in with the question of ‘What if’. There will always be another perspective, whether it is withing the realm of science or the arts. You could even use an arts perpective to argue on a scientific topic and vice-versa.
        ‘Where does opinion end and judgement begin?!!!’ This is such a good question and I think it is a viscious cycle, and sort of like the scenario of which came first, the chicken or the egg. I reckon it depends on the quality of education that influences whether or not it influences our perceptions. Then again, education comes in so many different forms inside and outside the classroom. We are learning every day, learning from each experience that we go through every day. And in that sense, our perceptions can be influenced so easily, hence changing so easily.
        I think how we respond also depends on how we feel towards a question or a situation…but then again, that would depend on our values and perhaps what we have been thought…and so the cycle goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I just heard on the ABC how they were launching a new program using Science to solve all sorts of personal issues and artsy type of things!! Something I didn’t think you could solve without emotional input!
    I think you are right. The quality or type of education would definitley play a role in changing opinions. If a child went to a one teacher school for many years, or lived in remote areas, their eyes would be limited to seeing what the teacher “sees” – but a library gives a student many opinions as do the world of the internet. And then – there is the impact of change around us. You mentioned we are learning every day, so our opinion might be as dynamic as our underwear!!!! LOL!! Values and emotions play do play such a big role in our opinions. A Norwegian friend said to me once that Values are given to us early by our significant elders or parents. I don’t feel they are quite this fixed. Adolescence is a time where contrasting opinions might change our values. Could our values change slightly or remain fixed with each life stage – childhood>adolescence>early adulthood> parenthood>old age ?????


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