Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

I find 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.


If you are filled with pride, you won’t have room for wisdom.

African Proverb






I have always felt pride as an emotion, centered in the heart or chest, and wisdom to be centered in the head.

Can pride manifest in thoughts only, or does it always involve emotion?


We understand life backwards,

but have to live it forwards

– Kierkegaard


IMG_8594 (2)


What do you make of the Danish Philosopher, Kierkegaard’s comments?

Is this true for you?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.



Proverbial Thursday – Something wistful to Ponder About

41 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms”

  1. First, yes: Wisdom requires humility and self-criticism. Pride is a feeling and sits in the belly. Wisdom is in your head? No, I do not believe but also not in the belly, probably not in the body but outside.
    We perhaps understand situations backwards and experience them forward. we will never understand life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Anie! To gain or display wisdom, we do indeed need humility and the ability to self criticize. To analyze, to pick apart the good and bad aspects of an experience, and take the lessons that are there for us, if we hear them. That is how we build wisdom.
      Interesting thought that wisdom lies outside the body, something completely intangible. Yet you are aware of that in thought, so these thoughts of wisdom are in your head, no?
      And there is another wisdom from you – we will never understand life! Indeed we won’t, but it is every so intriguing that the challenge to understand some of it, might keep us engaged and along the way we learn better ways of doing/handling tasks or interactions. Would you agree on that score, Anie? Or perhaps not? I would love to hear your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Forestwoodfolk ,yes I agree with you completely. Of course, we understand parts of life and have the urge to understand it, but finally will always remain open questions as life comes from an infinity that we can not understand.
        Yes, I also see wisdom in some people. These are people who are very balanced and calm and with themselves in peace. They look at you and the look in their eyes shows you that they understand you better than you yourself. When I said wisdom is not in the body, I rather thought that the wisdom and the answers to everything is outside the body. Infinitely much in infinity of the universum and everyone can take whatever he needs. You just have to choose and understand, but that is probably the really difficult part of the matter!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A great comment, Anie! We can never hope to understand or comprehend everything about life and the universe.
          And wise people are so attractive in the sense, that their calm demeanour is so likeable. To me this is charm. They do not seem proud, yet we don’t really know what they are thinking. They may think this, but usually are wise enough not to say or display it! It is definitely something that shows in their eyes. The eyes are a window to the soul, it is said! I think it is true!
          You can call me, Amanda!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. thank you Amanda, yes quite right … it is sometimes difficult to look into the eyes, because you are already afraid to show your feelings. Hmm, how is charm related to wisdom? It is always hard with these terms for me. on the one hand, I do not really know, how to differentiate them in my language and then there are the translation errors afterwards. Wisdom has definitely to do with experience and processing of experience. Charm have wise people in any case, but also a small untroubled child can have charm for me … more charismatic? Actually it does not matter anyway, these all are only terms that describe something that exists in infinite variants and is no variant is equal to another. I wish you a nice day Amanda!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with Kierkegaard – “We understand life backwards, but have to live it forwards”. From what I understand, lessons learned from the past but have to continue to move ahead and hope those mistakes are made again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As we do not have a sixth sense to foretell the future, we must therefore understand, reflect, and analyze life backwards, yet we have experienced it as forward marching of time. In this way, we have a chance to problem solve and plan to avoid repeating mistakes, we have already made. It is our way of having a second chance. What is life if we do not employ our learning or wisdom? Wisdom not just in academic thought, but in practical tasks, inter- personal and intra-personal advantages and disadvantages, and many, many more types of wisdoms emanating from all cultures and lifestyles. It is an interesting yet banal observation that Kierkegaard has uttered! I can’t see any other interpretation, can you, Mz&cho?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. indeed very interessting, I you do not think about the importance of wisdom and the connection with ride, you certainly will always live backwards. If you get the possibility to think about this you will be able to live forward.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. yes of course. so it is always a living backwards. Or do you think that there exist people not reflecting abaout the past? But as it was already said…if we learn from the past, we can live better towards the future, we will have less fear and more trust?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Less Fear and more trust? Hmmm – personally, I think that I try to learn from all my experiences, but trust is a separate issue. Fear can be ameliorated with lessons learned but trust…. no, I don’t think so, for me.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Well it depends in the lessons you learnt if you have less fear and / or more trust, no? Here I meant the trust in your own decisions…if you start to analyse the past you can learn and get perhaps some trust in what you are thinking….

              Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes we have so much success that we do not have anymore room for wisdom. Like the stock trader who had been right for a while, may continue to live in the past and assume the market is the same even as one has to live forward in changing times.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. I do hope that most of us will have that realization, but at this point in human evolution, capitalism and greed seem to be the driver of life for many souls. But the world is finite, and can not sustain infinite growth along the lines that we have been pursuing up till now.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes that’s right. A huge problem for humanity. In the case of the individual, I think there is no argument against beeing successful in something, or? If someone does a good thing out of passion and still lives recklessly and respectfully? It must not be a goal to be the highest, the farthest and the fastest,…


    2. So you doubt there is a connection between success, pride and wisdom, Mel & Suan? In several cultures that I can think of, pride has a somewhat negative connotation. It is connected with ego, being full of oneself, bragging almost. This is a far removed concept to wisdom. Yet in gaining success, one must have learnt many things along the way, good and bad, so therefore, wisdom must have also been gained. And I do believe that pride is a desired emotion. One would like to experience pride when related to the success or accomplishments of our children. I can’t think of people that are overly wise, overtly displaying pride. So it seems that there are acceptable limits to pride in society, are there not?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We are not sure about the connection.
        The only thing we can say is that sometimes success may not always be achieved by learning anything along the way. Especially when it has been paved for one!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Success may come in many forms but it must be our own success that is for sure. How can we learn anything if it is too easy and handed to us on a silvery platter?
          Struggle is never nice but iy can teach us lots if in the end we succeed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Absolutely! But in our current society, we’ve seen many younglings start up life fully “encapsulated”. There is this seeming sense of entitlement to success because they’ve got that college degree, parents can afford to fete over them etc… Where’s the struggle?


  3. I concur with Kierkegaard’s thinking. We spent far too much time thinking about reconstructing the past events, as if we could change them, and most often our emotions attach us to them.
    The fear of the future is huge so we try to get certainty in the past.
    I like the African proverb. Head or belly it doesn’t matter, that’s what feels like.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How perceptive you are, Lucille! Humans as a species lament the difficulties with life at the time we live it, yet are ridden with nostalgic thinking about the past! Why -especially when we can’t change what happened! Guilt is so manifestly silly unless we can learn some kind of lesson from it. Guilt seems to attempt to get us to rationalize or even re-write the event in our heads, in order for it to be more acceptable or to atone for the error made. A more practical approach to mistakes can be so liberating. Guilt in itself is quite destructive. In saying this, I have not mastered ridding myself of guilt. It is not easy.
      Fearing the future is, I feel about desire to control events. Unpredicatability can be unsettling and worrisome. We want everything to work out, but that is not the nature of the world we live. Change is life. Sameness and predictability in some ways, constitutes death.
      The location or part of the body where pride or wisdom is felt, is irrelevant. It is indeed an emotion. It is believed that thinking comes a millisecond before we register a feeling. In this way, thinking controls what emotions we feel. So perhaps pride as a ‘thought’ could also be centered in our heads. Do you think that the proverb itself seems to warn us to be careful that pride might stop us developing wisdom by blocking those thoughts?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I enjoyed it as much as your post. So much to reflect and learn from it.
        These are universal themes that we all struggle with and for that we need to keep investing in knowing ourselves better.
        I think the proverb is warning us about the effects of pride and to be wise to avoid it.
        Thank you so much for this conversation.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It was my pleasure and you are so very kind to say that, Lucille! I am so glad that blogging has given us this opportunity to discuss this topic. Even though these themes are universal, they are not always discussed openly very often and as such, I always find comments on my Prov. Thursday posts so very revealing and such an opportunity to learn.
          It is funny that I had never thought pride could be so negative. Through this discussion, I have learnt that it can be. Have a great week!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I do enjoy commenting and to have people doing the same on my blog.
            I wish I had more time.
            There is so much to discover and learn form each other.
            Looking forward to more opportunities!
            Have a great week too.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. that´s very nice thank you.Your proverbial discussions are always interesting!
    Guilt is definetely silly. Fearing the future and thinking you can control future aswell. If you think long enough there are lot of silly things. Just living the present, enjoying and not too much planing will maybe work out the best…well I never planned much in my life…in some things may be I should have planned and should have thought more, but most of the time it was easy living.

    Liked by 1 person

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