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.

Continuing our trip around the African continent, this week, I find some words from Sudan to mull over. But are they true?

If our feet leave the earth we no longer live in peace –

(Sudanese Proverb)

Do you think peace runs away from those who fail to be humble or modest? Or not? Can someone who is extremely proud or overbearing find serenity? Or is their pride and desire for others to notice and acknowledge their efforts the very thing that prevents them from feeling secure in who they are? Is their focus too inward or driven to be well grounded?

Quote of the week :

The quote this week comes from Friedrich Nietzsche: German poet, nihilist and philosopher.

It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge –

(Friedrich Nietzsch)

Nietzsche often has something interesting or at least provocative to say, but that was always his intention, wasn’t it?

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What do you make of the writings this week. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Something to Ponder About

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About Forestwoodfolk

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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31 Responses to Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

  1. Anie Abraxas says:

    Reblogged this on marvel and commented:

    I found this interessting “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom” and want to repost it, because I think people, who are proud or overbearing can also find serenity and peace. For peace and serenity, I think you never can watch only on some characteristics of somebody. It is always the whole person in his special situation and place on earth which counts. I think it is more the problem of differnent combinations of qualities, which makes life hard sometimes.
    Sometimes acknowledgement and admirement is given from People, who can not communicate this very good. Or in another way. So for peace and senerity it is always important to understand, that other people have never the same knowlegde and feelings. I think peace and serenity is not something depending one single person it is something about people together! The best starter may be is: Treat your neighbor as you wish to be treated. Do not punish them, if you feel hurted, show them that you are hurted, so they can feel sorry and not feel angry.
    Nietzsches quote is very difficult for me. He is a thinker, I´m not. Of course I can imagine that for somebody like him, suffering must be deflected by something. Revenge is something very negative. I do not beliefe that negativity can bring any joy. I it is always easier to give sympathy and love to someone who is unhappy and hurted, than to somebody who is angry and hurted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the re-blog of my post, Anie. I think it is very true that it is life that sometimes make living hard. Do you think living a difficult life makes a person’s characteristics what they are, and would this possibly lead to an overbearing attitude? Everyone is indeed an individual and will interpret situations in their own way as you quite rightly pointed out – absolutely I agree with you, and furthermore, good communication is key!
      So many situations are misconstrued due mainly to poor communication skills. Sometimes people quarrel because they assume the other party is happy or unhappy about a particular situation, when really they feel quite differently. Treat your neighbour as you would like to be treated is such a good philosophy. Two wrongs never make a right and revenge for mistreatment by another person rarely leads to resolution, but almost always leads to further conflict. Showing kindness in the face of cruelty can be quite powerful, but it is equally important to communicate assertively. This maintains one self respect whilst showing a possible alternate view. Negativity does not bring any joy at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mel & Suan says:

    Wow. Too profound these are…
    Thought if our feet leave the ground we’d be weightless and free! Will we have no peace? Hmm… can’t think why not.
    And what if the complaint (that is revenge) never gets to the intended person? Would that person have made payment?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess it depends on what your interpretation of that state the Sudanese proverb is referring to, Mel & Suan. Are you thinking it is the after life or a dream like state or even fantasy? I think a retreat into a fantasy space in one’s mind /a rainforest retreat / walk along the beach could be very therapeutic and great as a temporary escape from the stresses of life. Would that make me feel weightless and free? Perhaps it would make me feel temporarily ‘lighter.’ But Free? – NOT so much.
      As for Nietzsche – he states some very interesting things but he was atortured soul! I think you are spot one that the complaint might never be heard by the other person against whom the resentment is held. There the complaint became self torture eating up the person who feels so wronged. But revenge has a long memory for some and it manifests as many subtle changes in behaviour. Very interesting indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mel & Suan says:

      being free for us is a vague word. What does it truly mean? Hmm…. we guess the Sudanese saying perhaps have something to do with being an elevated person. Once you are a chief you have neverending issues to attend to… perhaps… maybe a Sudanese person can tell us!
      For us complaining is pointless. Doing something about it is more practical. And accepting it and doing nothing about it (ie forget about it) is also something.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think it well could be a comment on persons in elevated statuses! How perceptive you are Mel & Suan! Some Chiefs cope very well with the intense stimulating and overwhelming fires they have to put out or problem solve, whilst others become distracted by their own self-importance! (Complaining is pointless but emotionally is it a release of tension for some people? (as long as you are not incumbering another person with the burden?)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Chris Riley says:

    I think staying grounded is important for peace of mind for sure. No good being off with the fairies.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think being grounded is a necessity for me. I have to have that check in with reality both physically and mentally. And yet, fantasy does have a role in my life; particularly it is needed if there is a lot of stress in my life. Sort of like an escapist coping mechanism! But then one should realize, as I do, that this IS just fantasy and only a temporary reprieve from the hard facts of reality. It might help someone cope but if a person spends more time there in that space, be it a physical one like a casino, hotel, brothel, etc than they spend rooted in reality, it has developed into something detrimental or at the extreme – pathological. This might even possibly be one interpretation of the Sudanese proverb, perhaps Chris?

      Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL says:

      I agree, Chris, in the sense that feeling good about one’s life is a balancing act – Foreswoodfolk, all of these are great quotes, made all the better with your brief comments about them. I have found that when I generalize about others, I’m generally wrong, so am best when I only speak for me. As for me, I find that the happier/better adjusted I am, the better for all around me, which is what these quotes seem to imply 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello da-Al and many thanks for you comment! It is very true that life is often a kind of balancing act and even more correct that generalizations are often wrong. I am often catching myself making generalizations, but now, I also remind myself that it is just that – a gross generalization and perhaps even completely meaningless. And when these generalizations are found to be wrongor called out, it is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn something and I am always keen to learn! And yes, I also think that happiness and positivity can be contagious, in the same way being around someone who is depressed can make others feel a little down. So when we are positive and upbeat, It is a possibility that we can subtly influence the environment and others around us in a nice way.
      I really like that you saw positive slants in the Sudanese proverb. Did you also interpret Nietzsche to have a cautionary tone?

      Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL says:

      am not certain – tho for me, I know that it’s not good to let things fester

      Like

  4. Tara says:

    That bird photo actually made me jump! Hehe. Interesting and thought provoking quotes, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry for giving you a scare, Tara!! He was a rather bold, inquisitive bird!! I am glad you liked the quotes. How has your summer been? I heard that there has been loads of wet weather yet there are some beautiful photos of your daughter enjoying the summer on insta. It looks idyllic from down here! Perhaps poor old Nietzsche needed more of that in his life and he may have had a less provocative attitude????

      Like

  5. leggypeggy says:

    The Sudanese one interests me the most. All the unrest there is a strong indication that too many of the people don’t have their feet on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Peggy I wonder how old the proverb is – this could tell us if it was a sageful advice from the past or a more contemporary saying. Civil unrest must be extremely unsettling and destabilizing for the population, and one wonders where and how it will all end? Whilst family and inequity reign in that country, civil unrest and lawlesssness will continue! I think it is little wonder the population develops a cynicism of authority!

      Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy says:

      It’s probably an old proverb. I spent a couple of months in The Sudan in the 1970s, and the word reflect the attitudes I found at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is interesting to know, Peggy. Is it similar to the ‘TallPoppy’ syndrome, in some ways?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anie Abraxas says:

    @ Forestwoodfolk: I think that living conditions can make a person hard. But I do not believe that he changes his fundamental character qualities. He rather builds a protective coat when life becomes hard. And to that protection, then, belongs also arrogance or attack. Yes, you are absolutely right that communication is the most important. You have to show somehow that you are trustworthy and later on you have to show, that everything is fine, fantastic or something is not o.k. For me the most difficult point, because I often have problems to express myself correctly. But I think for someone you love and have some patience, it will work….just because you are interessted, that it works!
    « But revenge has a long memory for some and it manifests as many subtle changes in behaviour.“Very interesting indeed, but what happens, if there are new positive experiences are coming? This can change the behaviour again and let melt the protective coat?
    I think fantasy is a great world to leave some emotions, to put some energy in. It is a very creativ space, where you can get al lot of good feedback and success…for me it is an equal world like business-world. But of course you should not escape totally from reality….normal life must go on, because it can be so wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • What lovely words to read and remember, Anie.
      Positivity and kindness can defeat revenge!
      Escapism is great if contained by reality!
      And life is so wonderful!!
      I think also that improving our communication is a continual process that we are never done with.
      Some people appear more resilient than others when living conditions are hard. I think it is a make or break situation. Some build up their hard shell and others crumble inwardly and break down. I see more crumbling from younger people than shell building, in today’s society, unfortunately. I think many kids who torn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping find that whilat they feel they are burying their problem it resurfaces later in the form of anxiety other depression. What do you think?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Anie Abraxas says:

    Ohhh, thanks for the comment, which is a really nice exchange! Hmmm that is very interesting what you say: “hard shell” or “crumble inwardly and breakdown”. I wonder who I belong to then. I do not believe in any. I must go back a little further. My mother never took special care about our feelings, she was always honestly, often did hurt us. Often I was too deeply offended. But did not suffer long, nor a shell built up. So it was for my future life. Pain was always followed by self-pity, then disappointment. Disappointed by myself, because I didn´t resolve this situation, that I am not above these things stand … this goes a while so and then everything is good again. Perhaps, in some people with pain, a certain arrogance grows, which knows that you can stand over it? This arrogance must not be evil, perhaps just self-love and confidence?
    It must always be a “make” situation, never a “break” situation. Not even a thought can be wasted on this, I think.
    I also believe that many young people today have much more problems. It certainly has something to do with anonymity. No one feels committed anymore to help and the sufferers also no longer feel obliged to show that they are suffering.
    Alcohol / drugs as flight are bad. If the problem persists, and only with drugs has been tried to cover, I can well imagine that it ends in depression. I think depression is a logical consequence of psychological suffering that does not stop.
    However, I do not see any escape in any drug use. Often it is just trying to be, being there, curiosity, and your own reason then regulates these things yourself. At a young age, I have been able to observe this very well, in all directions … our city was an unbelievable jungle of drugs. But no matter if drugs are taken to the problem treatment, it is for me how to take tablets for headaches. Healing of symptomes. The cause must be combated, not the symptoms.

    And here the circle closes. I build a shield, against the evil from the outside, or I break. Or I entirely renounce negativity, give me time to be sad and suffer, and imagine how I have grown and become more loving than ever. I imagine that the whole world loves me, because they can not do otherwise, because I am thoroughly positive. I am creating a positive, joyous arrogance in me….: )

    Liked by 1 person

    • A positive joyous arrogance against the evils and negativity of the world. Hmmm, that is a pretty good philosophy that would certainly help one succeed in the ‘modern’ world or a ‘jungle of drugs,’ and certainly seems to be a preferred point between developing a hard shell or crumbling inwardly! You have made some very sound points, Anie. The way you describe the resolution of criticism: pain, self-pity, disappointment, self-realization is profound to me, as it describes a process similar to the grieving process and one that also explains the divergent point at which behaviour and conflict is either resolved (- I called it self – realization) or changes to an inwardly destructive behaviour. This also ties in to your ‘make or break’ situation and I find it so inspiring that you are determined and will not even waste a thought on the possibility of a ‘break’ situation! That shows strength of character and discipline! Perhaps your mother was trying to be an example in this – when she did not dwell on your feelings too much?
      And how sad that the sufferers have accepted their doomed status and so many others develop a blindness to their plight! This is arrogance I can not condone!
      As for the drug problem and the many reasons people resort to that as a way of coping – I think you encapsulated the problem in stating, ‘The cause must be combated, not the symptoms.’ I also believe this is true with behaviour. Most of our behaviour relates to meeting an underlying ‘need’ – be that for good or bad. I feel true altruistic acts are few, but can be oh so rewarding. But are they too meeting a need of our own ego – do we feel we are going to achieve something inwardly for ourselves ( ie. a sense of satisfaction in making others happy) or point scoring – (eg. pay it forward/good karma), or even a desire to be needed?? Then I think this is a terribly cynical view, I have.
      Thus, I like your final summarizing point. Build a shield, not around oneself, but a shield that does allow one to renounce negativity, allow for grieving and then finally self- reflection: ie.meaning that how can this be used as a learning tool for self-improvement, or in creating a more positive world for oneself and for others.
      The universe does indeed love each and every one of us, and it is the individual’s emotional journey/struggle that must honour that.
      Thanks so much for such a beautiful, inspirational, and erudite comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anie Abraxas says:

      Oh, thank you for all your explanations. But now I am glad I do not have to justify myself, because I have already noticed that you are very well read. For a qualified remark, I should have to read a book. ) I hope that there have not been too many translation errors. For example, The “make” or “break” situation … in german “break” can be a pause or an abandonment, because I would not consider demolition if I am determined. Altough it would lead to failure, if I had deceived. The points of pain, self-pity, disappointment, self-realization, are also only points which I myself have perceived in me. No idea how that is with other people. I do not think I am particularly strong and characterful and disciplined only on certain things. But well, my mother was certainly a hard school, where I often fell as a sensitive guy through the grid. Yes and especially sad is that people do not notice when someone in your environment suffers.
      And altruistic acts can be very rewarding,but I think these acts are in practise easier if you feel already good..so you are completely right…your first needs are different if you feel really bad for a long time…you only can be generous if you have have no lack of needs for yourself inside…if you are feeling bad, and really injured, I can imagine there is no reason and volition, to be generous…it must be very hard not to hate people…it must be like a spiral, down in negativity ( or if you have a good position to start a spiral zu positivity)
      I hope my statements are not arrogant, it is definitely not meant, because I can only reproduce what I feel, and not because I have a clue. It was definitely very instructive and inspiring what you wrote to me … the emotional journey into the loving universe I like especially …:)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad that you responded and liked my comment, Anie. It certainly is a vigorous discussion and I absolutely try not to be judgemental. Everyone’s opinions matters and is just that – their own opinion. I hope that this forum is a place where we can state what we think, and not be condemned, but rather, be accepted that what we write is just that: our opinion. It is also healthy to disagree – we can’t always agree completely with one another. That would not lead to any enlightenment or learning!!
      You mentioned not being able to help someone unless you were at in a certain ‘secure’ place yourself, in terms of needs – and I know I have referred to this before when discussing needs and wants, necessity versus desire, with #MabelKwong. Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs make logical sense to me. If you do not have adequate food and shelter, how can you be worried about friendship matters? If you do not have adequate social supports such as someone who cares about you, how can you care about others and their psychological welfare? So altruism can only be found in the higher levels, perhaps?

      Like

  8. I don’t think it’s possible to find serenity without humility – though this lesson may be a long time in coming while such people think they are happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is an interesting question Andrea, and many thanks for your comment! I do agree that many think they are happy but it is others that might judge whether they are serene or not, even if that thought is kept to themselves. Therefore, if we are to be judgemental in respect of the Sudanese proverb’s interpretation, we might say that others determine this, and the person themselves can not be objective enough to decide. I think they proverb is inherently cautionary. Warning us not to get too big for our boots! Yet there are so many layers one can read into this and this is why I think these global wisdoms are so interesting. They can apply to our own individual circumstances in our own individual ways and much can be learned from them!!
      You are so right, however, in saying that some people fail to learn the lessons, that situations and life try to teach us. They are not so open to mistakes or conflict as opportunities. They tear themselves up about it, or see it as the other person’s problem, and that seems doomed to be a never ending destructive/negative loop, do you think?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Very true and I think this is an interesting one – I come from a traditional working class background where it was very important that you not get too big for your boots, so this one resonates for me while it might not for others who weren’t brought up that way. I’ve just read a post on candid Kay about something very similar – being a ‘big deal’ but not acting like one: https://candidkay.com/2017/08/08/are-you-a-big-deal/

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Andrea. It was a similar sentiment in my house and in my ‘ culture ‘ – manyAustralians hate someone who big notes themselves. I will check out the blog you mentioned. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Anie Abraxas says:

    Andrea, you are certainly right, humility is something that most people have a lack. This is something that people learn, who are suffering properly or have another spiritual access. Therefore, it is certainly true that people who have never really thought about their happiness or misfortune (people like me) have a very limited, relative perception. I think of myself as a “happy” example, but I am not at all. Which I know now quite conscious. Although I think, that I felt at least more happy than other people)
    Hmmm, then my perceptions fit only to people, which stand on my “perception stage” so to say. Everyone who looks down on me, one step above, of course, recognizes the self-deception. Ha, which is very interesting, the question is, who has the absolute overview? .Only god?.. is this the realization when dying? …. I wrote years ago a children’s book, since I had a poem about people in it , The last line would be very suitable here …..

    ” Ein Narr wie er merkt erst den Trug,
    bei seinem letzten Atemzug”
    (“A fool like him first remembers the deceit,
    At his last breath “)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is very hard to be completely objective, Anie, which I think you were alluding to. It is definitely a role for others to be our mirror, but only for us to interpret that reflection, whether the reflection is a comment from an objective other, or their own interpretation. So perhaps a higher entity is the only one who could have a complete, non-judgemental overview!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Anie Abraxas says:

    Thank you, this is an exciting conversation. And no, I think it is very important that everyone says his opinion and you are so polite and elegant that I have to strive to recognize your opinion. I will not let myself be told what I have to do or have to think. But I let myself be influenced very quickly in my opinion, if an argument makes sense to me. This is because I have not formed opinion on many things yet, and I know that almost everything I mean and think, is only because of my own experience values, which can count in their sum only for me. Yes, I have mentioned that non-profit action from a secure position, in which their own needs are covered is much easier. From what lack of own, covered needs a “benevolent” action is no longer possible? This I can certainly not judge. Feelings can not be solved in formulas, right? Certainly it is so that a person who suffers himself can give less to another suffering human being, than somebody, who is balanced and self-satisfied. But here, too, the question arises as to how such a thing should be assessed in the individual case. If you take two people, both have their needs but also the possibility to give (which is also important to ensure the need “to be needed”). Is it at all sensible to have a “helper” with completely covered personal needs on the one hand. Who then stands on the other side? A person in need of help who feels needless, because the other does not need any help from him anyway? Can this be good to his psyche? Or does not he have to help aswell? … Hmm, this is a highly complicated thing, especially when one has to recall with every thought that his point of view has no general validity anyway. … a thought-circle.Thus, to your conclusion, “the altruism can only be found in the higher levels, perhaps? “What are the levels? Let´s take children, for example. They can always give us unselfishly. How they deal with animals, how they feel the need to take someone who is sad in the poor … they can be guided by their feelings and can be a lot better than adults.
    The idea of ​​seeing the mirror in other people is fascinating, but I find it a bit dangerous, because I have to involve the other people and their subjective behavior to define my own “I”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes it is very complex indeed! There can be no real objectivity in the “mirror” analogy.
      The higher levels on the upper levels of Maslow’s Heirarchy doesn’t always seem to relate to children either. And then you also have the homeless man who needs almost everything yet at the same time desires/expects nothing at all. We know nothing of his mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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