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.


The proverb this week comes from the little known volcanic island nation of Cape Verde. It is known for its  Creole-Portuguese-African culture, although the appeal and message of the quote appears universal:-

There is no better mirror than an old friend –

(Cape Verde proverb)


St Moritz


Reflections, like mirrors, reveal what may hitherto be hidden from view.


The quotes this week comes from Mark Twain – or Samuel Langhorne Clemens as he was also known as.  [1835-1910]


Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.


and furthermore, he penned this:


Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.


Is there a hidden meaning behind these words?

Is your old friend, a good  and trusted mirror to you? Has the Selfie become the modern equivalent, reflecting back what one cannot see themselves?

I think some old friends are great sounding boards. They can be someone who knows you best, not just the public persona that you show to the world. If an old friend cannot tell you a truth, then who can?


I would love to hear your thoughts. Join in the discussion.

It gives us Something to Ponder About










43 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom”

  1. Yes, I agree totally with you, Amanda. Proverbs are much more than just a quote and I treasure the wisdom and sentiments. Lovely evocative images to frame your words as well as the borrowed ones. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aren’t they amazing, Sartenada? They convey so much in so few words!! And of course, we interpret each of them in our own way – suited to our own circumstances. Perhaps you have a special one you would like to submit? I could post a linkback to your blog. My email should show up on my gravatar if you would like to email it.


    1. Thank you Lorelle! Indeed, Kindness costs nothing and shares something invaluable!! I post a proverb and quote every Thursday and some weeks, we have great discussions about the layers behind a particular proverb/quote. I hope you will join in again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent point, Mel & Suan! Indeed, they may not know. It depends on how well the person hides it from others. I think friendship is like the tide coming in – little by little, over the months or years, the other person divulges information about their lives, and most times, this is reciprocated and the friendship deepens. Yet, do they fully know one’s dark side? Perhaps not. But then, that is assuming a dark side is a negative force/characteristic. Is a dark side always negative in some way? Could a dark side have a positive element, Mel & Suan?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The word dark has so much negative in it isn’t it? Could it also mean hidden, sheltered? Perhaps our “dark” talent could mean a nascent ability that has not be harnessed to its potential?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oooow, I like that. Darkness is potential yet to be unleashed/harnessed. In my long years I have seen people who seem to be headed towards success wither and rot, with or without a trigger. Their causes unknown to us ( dark side), but then again, I have equally seen people flourish and blossom in their mid – older years and this is something wonderful. Their dark side was a surprising nascent ability! Great insight, Mel&Suan.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you like the offerings this week on Proverbial Thursday, Marlene. I always look forward to your educated and insightful comments. I know it is difficult to type on a tablet. Does it have a voice recognition option? I use that on my phone and it helps a lot. Then I go back and hand correct the grammar errors that voice recognition does not pick up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be using voice recognition soon enough but had not thought about it on the tablet. I’ll be up and running soon. My son was able to fix this clunker remotely so I have great faith the other repair will go quickly. I’ll be back soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Jo. We do have different levels of disclosure with friends. Some where the friendship only skims the surface and others where more deeper issues are revealed and reflected upon! I wish you also a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know about the first quote. On one hand, an old friend can be very honest with you and tell you anything and won’t mince words with you. On the other hand, people change over time and as they do, different people come and go in their circle – so an old friend may never seem like that old friend you once knew.

    Agree with the quote on kindness. Pure kindness comes from the heart, when we do things without being asked or giving much thought. We do because we can and for the bigger picture, and recognising we all deserve to be uplifting and encouraged in some way.

    That is a great third quote. It reminds me that there is always darkness surrounding light and light surrounding darkness – think a shadow on the ground caused by a street lamp or the way the sun is shining during the day. I guess with the moon and darkness, that may mean that sometimes we hide our dark side from others. Perhaps its because of pride, perhaps we don’t want to burden anybody. Not sure if that’s what the quite meant, but it is a very interesting quote 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Mabel: you’ve offered another perspective on old friends and one which is certainly valid. People come and go in our lives, absolutely they do; and they also may change over time in varying degrees, particularly during the early adult years. It is sometimes disconcerting to have old friends who aren’t of the same character that they once were. Disappointing too. If we have been out of contract with them for some time the changes can seem even more dramatic. Does this feeling then possibly relate a little to expectations? We have expectations that might stem from the person they were?

      On kindness, your words, “Pure kindness comes from the heart. We do because we can and for the bigger picture, and recognising we all deserve to be uplifting and encouraged in some way. ”
      are so very heartfelt and indicate that this ‘pay it forward ‘ philosophy is something you know very well. I always find it inspiring to read your comments here and what you write on your blog. Perhaps you don’t fully realise the watershed of tolerance and positivity that you give out in your words. It is a real gift you have!!
      That is not, by any stretch, empty praise, either, as I do sincerely mean it!

      In an increasingly selfish, suspicious and intolerant world, your words are like the light surrounding the darkness that you speak of.

      Keeping the dark side hidden is “not wanting to burden anybody” – an altruistic thought indeed. Some of us feel uncomfortable divulging their innermost thoughts whilst others need to vent them or talk them through with others. Both are different methods of processing feelings. Those that process feelings by talking them out, may have a different kind of dark side, one that they choose to reveal to others, if it meets a need they have. Perhaps even, those persons are ones whose hidden dark side is even darker than they are aware of, only they may not be consciously aware of it. A teen who is quite social and confident and tells her friends everything may end up still feeling unhappy, depressed or even suicidal, because of an inner feeling of insecurity/ lack of control that they are not even fully aware of themselves. Friends are often shocked/ mystified when something tragic happens. A very interesting quote, indeed, Mabel.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Proverbs are often, as you say, food for thought. Sometimes the thought can be a bit flippant, as in the addition to ‘A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind’ of ‘but not a fellow feeling in your coat, behind!’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that you like my blog, Untravelledroutes! I do like the discussion that surrounds these writings. I feature different proverbs from around the world every Thursday. I really enjoy the way we can share different perspectives in a non threatening and non judgemental environment. One can always enhance their knowledge and broaden ideas through reading another person’s perspectives, particularly if that person is from a different end of the earth!! I do hope you will come by again. What part of the world are you in, at the moment?


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