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.

Departing from the African proverbs, this week we have some wise words from Sweden.

Swedish house
Swedish house

The house that is built after every man’s advice seldom gets a roof

– Swedish proverb

and from one of the greatest minds, of all time, a quote :

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”

– Socrates

My thoughts on the Proverbs and Quotes –

Many of us give, and indeed, receive advice from all quarters in our lives, yet it isn’t always successful in implementation. When we tell others our problems, do we even want to hear their advice? At times it is most helpful, and yet, is it not better to discover the solution for ourselves? For it is about ourselves, and we know that person far better than anyone else, and in that process of problem-solving, become more accomplished at handling life’s future blindsides?

For contentment is what we all seek, in many and various forms.

Despite the Swedes best efforts, we do need a roof over our heads, and we do also need food in our bellies and fellow companions. But how much more do we realistically need to survive, given we can’t take material possessions with us, when we pass. 

How clever was Socrates to know that if we are not happy with our what we have today, we won’t be happier when what you have is doubled?

Do you agree?

Join in the discussion. I would be glad to hear your thoughts.

Something to Ponder About

26 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom”

  1. I completely agree with you on what Socrates said. We don’t realistically need much to survive. We may “want” those luxuries but we never really “need” them. I feel the only thing we really need is food, shelter and companionship. The rest is definitely unnecessary.
    I can watch the sun rise with a good friend by my side and a nice sandwich and be completely content.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is good to distinguish between what we need and what we want.
      Sometimes what we want is not necessary as you say Tony tone. It can be very liberating when we think we don’t have to buy things. One is then less pressured by clutter in the home, less housework even? Ask these time saving devices can actually cause more work! Thanks for your comment and welcome to Proverbial Thursday!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What a lovely image I have and I can say with conviction that I too enjoy that same experience. Although it might be likely to be a sunset by the water’s edge with my other half, my dog and a piece of fried fish/cup of tea. Here’s to life’s simple pleasures. May more younger people realize the source of inner contentment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The pursuit of wealth indeed attracts so many of us, Gerard! It is what drives our ambition, isn’t it? Yet this is the catch. We experience a moment of happiness from luxury but it quickly passes over us and we look for the next luxury item on and on: TV, sound system, boat, house, travel, beach house, iPhone, new car, jet ski, latest kitchen bathroom trend, swimming pool on and on and on. For all these riches, are our lives so much richer? When I get more stuff, it doesn’t give me lasting happiness and to me happines and health equate to wealth. Why do more of us not aspire to sourcing happiness as much as we work hard at getting luxury items? Oh what a different world that would be?


    1. Oh i haven’t heard that one. What a great proverb! Too many cooks spoiling the broth is a similar sentiment. But I love the humour in the camel proverb. That is funny. Thanks for giving me a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for that lovely comment. It makes me happy to know that others enjoy my blog. And I also love too read the very insightful comments that people leave. I learn so much. Particularly Mabel always has much to say that is interesting.


  2. Too many cooks spoil the broth is perhaps another way to paraphrase the Swedish proverb?
    And for contentment, the human want is probably insatiable. Guess how many PhDs it took to conclude that and come up with their theory? Heheh…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just mentioned that same quote to Peggy in response to get comment. So yes I agree. Insatiable wants – oh Yes! Certainly. There is no end to or thirst for more luxury. Ironically, though as Gerard and the proverb mentions, it makes our life poorer in so many other ways. Mobile phones can prevent us from an appreciation of the world around us. They engage us on social media yet it is the world around us that provides for a richer experience. How would we be content if we had not experienced the calm serenity of a forest or the chatter chatter of little children in a playground? The waves at the sea shore or lapping the boards of a pier? The warmth of a friend’s hug or the happy smile and love of a pet. These kinds of experiences are free and still we take them for granted!! Rather than more of this, we seek to concentrate more on a black and white two dimensional keyboard, and backlit screen!! This is our modern life but we must preserve the natural experiences and seek a balance if we want to also experience contentment and life ‘s real wealth. Thanks Mel & Suan for highlighting this!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The first one from Sweden makes perfect sense to me, Amanda. If you listen to everyone tell you how you should build that house you will never get around to finishing it and putting on the roof. Everyone wants to tell you how to do it or how you are doing it wrong. As for Socrates, we know he was a very smart man. The luxuries tend to weigh you down later. When we get past the basics, the rest gets to be too much sometime. These are good proverbs. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marlene for your comment. As always it is great to hear from you Its funny to think of so many people advising a man on how best to build his house and I agree with your interpretation. It also reminds me of when you first have a baby and the babies cries a lot and you are puzzled as to why. Everyone is full of advice such as: you took her out in the wind ; you fed her too much; you didn’t feed her enough; kept her up too much; overstimulated etc. All these excuses don’t really help but one of them just might work for you. We have to find our own way in the world and take the route or path that works for you. I feel this is what the proberb is alluding to?
      Luxuries writing one down. For sure, it is a burden both physically and mentally for some. Classic sign to start shedding some of the stuff. Could it also be emotional baggage, perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. 🙂 I have closets filled with crafting and painting materials, fabric and sewing materials and my walls are lined with bookshelves. All the walls that have a spot have a bookshelf. My daughter wants me to sell everything to leave the country and go traveling. Ha! What a dreamer. I have 4 sewing machines and a serger, tea cups filling cabinets and of course when I mentioned the tea cups, she took a deep breath. You can’t let go and hold on at the same time. Crazy making. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I share. One is my mother’s from 1962. One I use all the time, one is the little, light machine I take to quilt group and the other was a planned upgrade that went south. I can’t even sell either of the last 2. But I’ll keep trying. I post them for sale every few weeks. My son may take my mother’s once he’s settled. It still sews but is very heavy. Each machine has a different use. 2 are embroidery machines. I had them both going at once last year. 🙂 I have been moving stuff out of here with great diligence. It’s been in storage since my last divorce. It’s a very long story.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah man, sht I guess its just wishful thinking that anyone beyond my grandMother would know me that well and sometimes as if even better!? Wow I need to wake the hhell up from that dream, that is so true. Thanks for the last bricks to the “puzzle”. (parden my language)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Contentment is my goal but it is often illusive and sometimes impossible unless we are able to divorce ourselves from the problematic interactions with others. @in: Do you believe contentment needs a disciplined mind?

      Liked by 1 person

Everyone is important. What do you have to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.