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Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms

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.

This week, I present several quotes that are interconnected.

 

proverbial thursday

“Only when we fully embrace change, can you find the good in it.”

Dr Travis Bradbury

 

Stradbroke Island

“You do the thing you’re scared shit-less of and then you get your courage. Not before.

That’s the way it works” – [from The Three Kings]

 

Does courage really come secondary to actions? I feel one must have courage and fortitude to initiate a dangerous manoeuvre, to ignore and override those instincts of self-preservation.

What do you think?

 

But then, there is this:

“We cling to the views that are familiar to us” – unknown

 

 

Why do we cling to the familiar?

Because familiar viewpoints make us feel safe and more predictable?

Is our perspective of actions, a kind of spectrum, wherein at one end, we would sit within a bubble, or a cocoon, safe and never stretching ourselves, and the other, indulge in highly dangerous and risk taking behaviour, stepping completely out of our comfort zone? Some risk takers say that is when they feel most alive?

How do we achieve the middle ground? Is that where we would feel most satisfied and most alive, without dancing with death? 

 

The final word comes from Anais Nin: –

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

 

artsy photo

 

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on courage. Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

 

Proverbial Thursday – Something to Ponder About

 

 

 

76 thoughts on “Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdoms”

  1. These quotes are so poignant for me at the moment. I have just made a big jump in my life, one which has taken a long time and I am proud of myself that I have, personally stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel you do need the courage initially to make the big change you plan, but when that decision has been made, the plans put in place and in fact the jump has happened then yes, you do feel ‘Alive’, more alive than you have felt in a long time. We are as humans so intent on following the ‘Norm’ or what is expected. We worry about what others think as people in general can be quite judgemental and it has fascinated me for many years as to why some people can enjoy someones failure more than their success, so to jump sideways can be quite daunting. It has taken me a long time to realise this, but now feel quite free and happier than I have felt in a long time. These quotes have been a lovely read for me this, Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Sam. Congratulations on your courage. It sounds like you feel quite liberated. People being judgemental! That is a whole dissertation right there!! We just have to rationalize that us wheret they are on their journey

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    2. Thank you, Sam. Congratulations on your courage. It sounds like you feel quite liberated. People being judgemental! That is a whole dissertation right there!! We just have to rationalize that is where they are on their journey.

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    1. I can see how one would develop an extra measure of courage after an action, but I also feel a notion of courage is necessary before we engage in any action, we find frightening. Otherwise we would be acting without thinking, wouldn’t we? Where do we find that initial act of bravery?

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      1. Well these are good questions and for me – it comes down to faith and strength from God – and then the way we are raised plays a part – don’t ya think? The parental input – teachers who empower and allow students to explore and experiment (small lessons in failure) and oh – having support systems Along the way – and mentors in life and through literature- just brainstorming here – xoxo

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        1. O.K. I ponder, prior, and you are surely right, that the initial act of bravery, can come from faith, the way we are raised and little lessons. So unfortunately this is for everybody individual…how he was raised…but for everybody counts for sure, your courage developess over the time and this meens hope…thank you!

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          1. Courage over time = hope? That is in itself an interesting concept as I have often thought why do some of us retain hope and others give up quickly, losing everything including HOPE. I am a person who feels that hope is always there. I never give up hope, even when other indications are that everything is lost. This is a different concept to feeling hopeless. Being hopeless or being accused of being hopeless, appears to relate more to a lack of proper and thorough training, or a lack of due diligence, or motivation. Whereas, to lose hope, is a very, very desperate situation. For religious folk, God may be a source of hope when things are grim, but hope remains for me, also a non religious concept.

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          2. Thanks anie – although we also have to remember inner traits – the genetic makeup is no small matter and I have seen individuals who were grumpy and chronically dissatisfied at two years of age and then they grow and have similar traits in adulthood – and sometimes people just self satisfy easier than others – nurture and environment are huge factors too – but so many folks talk about how they had to work at changing their innate (genetic) makeup and even seligman’s “learned optimism” is based on realizing we have personalities that can and often should be understood and then worked with – ya know ? And thanks for your comment anie

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            1. Of course, your own personality plays the biggest role. As the human being is predisposed and then come upbringing, environment, experiences, nutrition and to work on this make-up. A very good correction!

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              1. Well you added even more awesome stuff – and nutrition – yes !!!! Wow – could really go on and on – and was reading recently how some parasitic infections can make people irritable – angry – at times feeling rage – and just feeling Down – crazy –

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              2. I suffer from asthma but only after a viral infection. Sometimes because of this have to take cortisone. This has the side effect of making me grumpy and also when I first take it, foggy in the head. This, I think is an example of how chemicals can affect our mood, even though the physical effect of the medication should be confined to my lungs. I do know someone who is a respected psychiatrist whose daughter suffered terribly with depression which was triggered by a parasitic infection.

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              3. Oh I believe that about the depression from parasites – and sorry about your asthma and stuff with that 🧡…. and these comments reminded me that malabsorption also can negatively impact behavior and mood – I guess it ties into anie’s nutrition – but many folks aren’t absorbing and we are what we absorb – ya know

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              4. If you aren’t absorbing nutrients from your gut then your brain is getting less essential nutrients. The gut biome and it’s connection with mental illness is in the news a lot now.

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              5. oh it is in the news a lot now – that is good to hear! I am so glad it is in the news and glad that we are all learning more – and side note – I ran into a lady recently who was very very ill – in hospital for 5 months at one point – and she said they gave her a fecal transplant and her health was restored. She gave me her contact info and said I could interview her for my blog.

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              6. yes0 and I off to bed – so I want to leave with saying I really enjoyed our comment chat – and you are a nice hostess – peace and touch base again soon…
                xxoo

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              7. thank you for this interessting comments…the importance of nutrition is obvious, but anyway if you feel bad you are mostly not in the mood to cook nice and good food to yourself. This is why I try to force me to cook for others…; )….There was long time a bestseller in Germany, I can imagine that there exist an english version already. i did not read the book yet, but mym mom and some friends, and everybody is facinated: https://www.amazon.com/Darm-mit-Charme/dp/3550080417

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            2. It is interesting that two year olds can be grumpy. There must be a reason for that, and no doubt a rather complex answer. I absolutely believe we each have our own personalities which can change with environment, nutrition and life experiences. I am not familiar with Seligman, and shall research that a little. Learned optimism, I imagine is something like re-training one’s mind to think more positively? Is that right? If so then not only is is personality, it is also in some ways, habits and influenced by those around us at any given time?

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              1. Oh dear Amanda – this is getting so interesting! And if u don’t mind – I have two meaty answers to reply back with – first – seligman is noted for helping catapult the Positive Psychology movement – which is not motivational Pollyanna positive -hype as the title might indicate – instead – it is about approach and learning to see the better sides and rather than he cup being half full or half empty – a PP view might just say there will always be fluctuation and so learn to not be rattled when really low – etc – (still can feel and legit moods – it it is a lifestyle of choosing to respond with a positive Approach – seligman’s first book on it had happiness in title and years later upon revising he chose the word “thrive” because happiness is such a ambiguous word and often implies short lived highs based on “Happenings” – and seligman’s big epiphany cake while gardening with his granddaughter and she told him he was crabby all the time – he wanted to change – anyhow – let me know if u look him up!
                Second part – regarding changing – I feel as if you do – like we can change in some ways but not all – and when it comes to personality traits of introversion and extroversion – I think sadly some introverts might try to become more extroverted — because society sometimes makes high extroversion as desirable – and even tho some folks argue that introversion increases with age – do you think some things inside humans are like spots on a leopard – and like Popeye – we say “I am what I am” and find strategies to help what can it be changed???? 🧡

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              2. I will research Seligman. You have sparked my interest. Furthermore, I feel that grumpiness is often traced back to general anxiety and that feeling of not being in control of life.
                Spots on a leopard yes I agree. We can change some things consciously wuth a lot of hard work, or strategies; we might change other things with appropriate medications but a change in a person’s fundamental personality means something is off. I think shy people or those who are socially anxious can overcome and learn to manage life to the point that their public face or persona can seem more outgoing. In time this may become a habit. Or you could say – that person has habituated to cope and thus displays behaviour that is more socially orientated. Whether relentlessly putting on that public persona becomes too exhaustive and leads to a breakdown, or alternatively, it’s totally absorbed into a new persona can very so much. Strategies I think sometimes could be considered coping mechanisms?

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        2. Quite an excellent list and as I commented to Anie, our life experiences, (lessons and values) are predominant in developing that initial emotion of courage. So absolutely I agree that the way we are raised correlates with how courageous/cowardly we might feel or react, at any given moment.
          I love that you also included literature, Yvette. That is an angle that is certainly valid, particularly with the extraordinary influence, media has on young people.

          I would also concur that over protectiveness can restrict development of courage. Does the chicken or the egg come first? Does a parent see a vulnerable child, ( ie with a disability or difference in some way) and seek to protect that child from a self esteem that can be so damaged, or is the overprotectiveness that develops the vulnerable self esteem in that same child first? I think it is sometimes one, and sometimes the other, perhaps?

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          1. Loved your thought about development and over protection – hmmm – so much to ponder and for good reasons – eh? And I did read that comment to anie and part of my response was based on those thoughts there too – fun post

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            1. Thanks Yvette, that means a lot. I really enjoy the comments here and appreciate that people have found it important and interesting enough to write a comment. These discussions are so intriguing and illuminating!

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    2. Where do we find that initial act of bravery? A good question, Forestwoodfolk. Probably, we should really do not think to much and in times of biggest need, just put your thoughts aside and make a decision. Like jumping from a too high springboard into the water. We can go back, down the ladder again or say in a moment, no matter, I’ll just jump!

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  2. These are beautiful proverbs again! Courage, what a meaningful word that puts the rails to the future. I often have the feeling that I am the only one who has the courage and always falls back into the dark corner of fear. Why, when I know it’s right “You do the thing you’re scared shit-less of and then you get your courage. Not before.
    That’s the way it works”..
    You need courage and strength if you want change and you have to accept it and yet you cling to what is familiar to you.
    Because we know we are fine. Because we see how bad other people are. Because we want to be thankful for what we have and do not want to challenge the devil, because our ego not gets enough! These are the problems. It becomes quite irratioan when love comes into play, then the mind and the feeling push and pull you left and right at the same time and when mind and feeling take a short break we have time to bathe in self-pity.
    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Yes! Those who want a big, fulfilling life must venture and maybe fall. Risk remains risk. A middle way through the safty- zone is safe, but certainly not so fulfilling. I am not a player type. I do not gamble, but unfortunately everyone has the fight between feeling and understanding.

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    1. Everyone has the fight between feeling and understanding. Emotions can be strongly felt, and fear might certainly be a very strong emotion. If only we could harness the strength of the emotion of fear, in the form of courage and not escapism.
      Having said that, risk does remain risk!! We perceive risk differently based on our experiences; those lessons we learned through making mistakes earlier in life. Life changes what seems fearful with each stage. Babies and youngster have phobias about the boogeyman, or spiders, yet as adults we fear other things, – loss of finances, safety of loved ones, or job security or under performance. Love – yet another strong emotion that cause one’s risk management boundaries, previously set in stone, to quickly falter and collapse. Love makes us take many risks we would not normally take.

      Even more so, peer pressure or the desire to fit in with a group, can give us courage, sometimes to our detriment. So perhaps the exact motivation for the courageous act is critical?

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      1. Thank you so much for your comment. „ if only we could harness its strength in the form of courage and not escapism.“ This would be really great!🙂 Yes and love really let us take much more risks and I think this is o.k.because it meens a lot to get what we desire. Some people can be more risky, because there lessons were not so hard before. But the older you get, the courage get weaker. You get your little lesson each day…😞 .But on the other hand you are perhaps more patient with age…😏the last passageI did not understand. Can you explain again?

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        1. When I say ‘Peer pressure might motivate us to gain courage, I mean the desire to gain approval from one’s peers. That intangible push to do what your friend’s or the community are doing. This particularly applies to adolescents and young people. Peer pressure can make a young person disregard all the known rules, lesson learned and values we are accustomed to. It give them courage that they didn’t previously have. Mostly, peer pressure is a negative thing, encouraging young people to drink, have sex, drugs etc, or do radical things just so that they will feel part of a group. I admit that feeling part of a community is a basic human need for most, if not, all of us, however, this sort of courage leading to risk taking, works to our detriment, and perhaps, ill health. Furthermore, when falling in love, teens often do things that they may not do or consider doing when they are older and wiser. This is an example of a kind of motivating force for courage, (triggered by the desire for love or peer affirmations), albeit a negative force.

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          1. Oh yes, that’s right, teenagers often get on a bad track and spoil a good way through life, because they want to belong to a groupe and follow the peer pressure.

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            1. They are also attracted to freedom, danger and risk at that time. They like to push the boundaries. Work out who they are. Some descend along a dark path of drug use, criminality and perhaps also mental ill health that results from drug use.

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  3. Change is the only constant in life, yet so many of us fear change or resist it. Fully embracing change means adapting, and maybe change in our life and change in ourselves. But I also think that to change, we have to find the courage to change the way we think and perhaps also change our beliefs too. I honestly do believe there is good in change but there is also good in appreciating what you have. I suppose it depends on what we want in life, what we want to achieve and where we want to be.

    Courage develops over time, and so does strength. I think the two go hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other. Doing what we’ve never done that scares us puts us out of our comfort zone and we come to realise what we can do, that the impossible is actually possible. Now that is a powerful thing to learn.

    It’s always easy to cling to the familiar. The familiar is what we’re used to, more than likely comforting and providing us with a sense of security. It feels like we’re coming home.

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    1. Courage overlaps with strength. I was thinking about that. Can one be weak and still courageous? Or could a strong person lack courage. There certainly is a lot of overlaps, strength itself is a form of courage. Strength to support an ailing friend or family member is strength. Remaining positive in the face of death is strength. Determination and stubbornness might also be seen as strength in positive and negative measures. However, a strong person may stand firm on principles, and yet behind the facade, the weakness may be the motivating force to hold back.
      Totally agree on the thought that familiarity is like coming home. We are different people at home, as compared to outside the home, in many cases.

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      1. ‘an one be weak and still courageous? Or could a strong person lack courage’ Agree with this, and your examples illustrate this sentiment very well. One can be weak, yet they might never want to give up. One can be strong, yet they might not have the heart or courage to take the smartest path.

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  4. We cannot recall if it is a saying, but it is said that the more things are stable the more they will change (ie become unstable). Humans being mostly social creatures (except for some), means essentially we cannot escape the vagaries of varaible human behavior and emotions. Courage does not have to be macho, it can also be stoic. Keep calm and be open minded!

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    1. Stoic courage, that is an important point, Mel and Suan. Holding fast in the face of extreme adversity is certainly courageous. An open mind is always important. We can learn so much more when our mind is receptive to a differing viewpoint. How could a mind grow if we claimed to know “everything. “It goes without saying that we should keep calm. Many benefits for all in keeping calm. It is better if any tension that has built up is released in a productive, positive way!
      As for the proposition that the more things are stable the more they will change.This seems particularly true of the financial/economic/political sectors and the development of new innovations. If we have peace and prosperity, the mind is at rest from seeking/lusting for basic needs and can turn its attention to higher order thinking. New innovations = change

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  5. You have 4 good quotes here that can open a great deal of conversation. I’ve never had anything but change and didn’t always like it in the beginning. As I matured, I saw that all change brought good with it. Courage is not something I’m blessed with but often have to follow the old adage, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” It’s like driving the LA freeway for the first time. It had to be done and my hands gripped the wheel and my mouth went dry. I never wanted to get on that freeway but I wanted to get to my destination. After a while the fear lessened but never disappeared completely. I know the one about life shrinking or expanding but I’m not sure courage is the right word for that either, I’ve had an expansive life in my view of it. Many thought me brave for driving across country alone with my children but I always thought it was the ordinary thing to do. Packing a toddler across continents alone to join my husband in an isolated duty zone made sense to me. Most thought I was crazy. Perspective. You get out of life what you are willing to embrace.

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    1. that is another very important point! The perspective. I think you can be very fast, very brave, if you have some idea where you are going. Leaving the continent together with the beloved person at the side is not so so courageous. To go alone would be very hard …. I think!

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      1. After travelling with family and close friends, I have had two long solo trips overseas in recent years. Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard or courageous at all – it was quite liberating and exciting. I felt more aware of my surroundings as they was noone to talk to so my awareness was focussed externally. Quite a few people thought I was very brave. I didn’t think that at all. I didn’t even feel lonely. But I did punctuate the trip with short term visits with friends here and there, in different countries, and at one point, joined a short group tour. I do imagine it would be hard to do this if you are a very extroverted person or like people around you to lean on and chat with at all times?

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        1. I think that can be very exciting and great. But you certainly have to be a special personality for something like thiso. I am certainly not very introverted, but I have never enjoyed traveling alone and see no reason to force myself here in the future.

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    2. Perspective. That says it all, Marlene. As usual these points we discuss here, often change according to our own particular perspective. I hear people interviewed on television who have been in a situation where they have performed an extraordinary feat of some kind, a very courageous act, like rescuing a person from a burning car and they might say, It had to be done, I didn’t think much of it, at the time, just jumped in and did it. This relates to your, ” feel the fear and do it anyway.” And also to the second quote. The first quote also relates to this feeling. As you alluded in the final sentence of your comment, and as in the first quote: Embracing the change, means fully accepting it, and there may be some parts that are bad, but also parts that can be GREAT! Thinking too much about the (perhaps fearful) action, means our logical brain might kick in and tell us there are many reasons not to do something and then we miss out on those GREAT things! For you, driving across the country to join your husband was something that was logical and necessary. And you succeeded in your mission. This may have, I think, given you courage to try others things, that you may have previously dismissed as unthinkable? Do you think courage is self accumulating in this way? That it builds upon itself?

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      1. I do think courage is self accumulating as you said. Hadn’t thought of it that way but it makes sense. I’ve done a lot of things that I was scared of and figured I didn’t die doing the last one so I may as well try. I should write about those adventures. 🙂 What a life I’ve had and had I not been so fearful, it could have been even larger.

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    3. Marlene!! I totally agree with you on courage, fear, and perspective. In order to gain perspective I think that dealing with adversity can bring new insights, but only if one is willing and/or able to learn from one’s life adventures. When I look back at some of the things I’ve experienced, I know that I wouldn’t be the same person without change, fear and courage! P.S. I learned how to drive in LA, and loved it! But I was 20! Last time I was there, I wasn’t nearly as relaxed on the freeway! 😉 But sometimes we just have to do it! Never know what could happen…

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      1. New insights. Life can change in an instant and some times it takes a while to process and work.out the best way to deal with change. Looking back or reflecting once the dust has settled tends to be when I get the most valuable insights.

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          1. No, Sabine and I both follow each other’s blog and apparently we both follow yours. 😉 You are one of my favorites. I am just not getting enough time to get to reading all as I would like.

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            1. Okay! Now I get it! Thank you for saying I am one of your favourites. That makes my day!!! I do sympathize with the lack of time for reading. If only that is all we had to do….

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          1. It is a small world. I find most of the blogs I follow in the comments of other blogs I follow. If someone leaves nice comments I go see who they are and read a bit. Then I decide whether to follow. Amanda has a lovely point of view on life and I have enjoyed her blog very much. Just need more time to read. 😦

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            1. Thank you for your kind comment, Marlene. I think that it is no surprise that we find the same blogs pooping up in other blogs that we follow. That is the community of blogging but also indicative of a similar point of view. Out of the tens of thousands of bloggers out there we find people with complementing perspectives or they find us. It makes blogging a reciprocative activity.

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              1. I have a routine for checking blogs now. Otherwise, I either end up not reading them, or at the other end, distracted by reading them for too long and forget the eggs on the stove! The set time and routine helps me control that. Sunday nights are my favourite time!

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