Proverbial Thursday – Global 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 think so too.

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win –

(African proverb)

Do you learn most from a mistake or failure?

I think the act of winning confirms that you have completed the task well, and done most things correctly, and I would hope ethically. But in confirming our actions, do we learn anything of value? Isn’t winning simply reinforcing already learned behaviours?

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and the quote this week comes from a singer from the 60’s and the flower power generation:

“The more you live, the less you die”

– Janis Joplin

Was Janis right? Even though she passed away at a young age?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom”

  1. If we manage to win and complete tasks perfectly all the time, we truly do not learn anything new. Only when we have the “aha” moment when realizing a mistake do we learn something, no?
    And if one lies around or sits around,not getting out and about or doing anything. How different would that from being dead?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! It is almost fifty years, half a century since Janis lived and died, and yet, her words are still relevant! And in this way, Peggy! I had not thought of it as a positive. I was focusing on living too much, as Janis did, buy oh boy! What a life she had! Doing the things she loved and no holding back. Yet there were so many demons that undid her! She was highly temperamental and her parents indulged her creativity, which was no doubt a bonus to a singer songwriter. There was no fear! A sad end to a great singer. And yet, perhaps she would have wanted to go out with a bang and not a wimper. She really did live, and live on!!! Thanks for voicing your viewpoint!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked both quotes. When you lose, you reflect more about what happened than when you win.That’s where the learning comes in. Janis Joplin’s quote is one I looked at from another angle. When you are not fully living and engaged, you are starting the dying process. It’s best to do it without addiction because that in part of the dying process too. I have to check in with myself during the day and ask, is this part of the living or the dying process and find something that brings joy. That’s living.


    1. What wise words Marlene. Thank you! Indeed, we should question whether some repetitive activity, which for me, might be something like: relaxing in front of the TV day after day, or night after night, is really just passing time until death. Does it really constitute living in my life? No, and that is why I don’t do much of it. The opinion on this activity may, of course, differ for each individual. For me, chilling out, being passive sponges is not really living, but for other people. watching television is highly entertaining. I think you can learn a lot from television, if you want, but many of us don’t think about TV, in that way. I also agree that addiction can be part of the dying process, and TV or drugs or over indulgence in food or alcohol to the point of addiction certainly becomes part of the dying process. We are slowly killing ourselves, hurrying along the inevitable.
      I think you have a high level of personal awareness to check in with yourself during the day. Many of us constantly look forward to a future activity, event or task, without enjoying the here and now. That too, seems like the focus in on an imaginary part of life, some hypothetical future, that may or may not happen. That is fine, but when that future arrives, do we enjoy each and every moment, or look forward again to another date in the future? The journey is just as important as the destination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to do that checking in a lot. This morning on my walk I put the headphone on as though I’m listening to music, but in essence, just covering my ears from distraction and asking myself several times as I walk, where am I at this moment. It’s how I meditate. As I approach my end years, I am more mindful of each moment as they are precious indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

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