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Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings often provide us with wise words from all corners of the world. 

Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are passed down from generation to generation.

Each Friday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile –
Jewish Proverb

 

Is this proverb just as it says, or could it have a deeper meaning?

 

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C.S. Lewis wrote, “We read to know we’re not alone.”

For years I read to my children, and all but one enjoys the fruits of a world of knowledge and ideas forged through either books, magazines or via the Web.  The youngest one, I am happy to say, has now discovered the delights of reading poetry! Perhaps those years of reading have finally paid off?

Reading is a solitary activity, yet it makes accessible a world of people and ideas, via our imagination. I am never alone when I read.

When I read non-fiction books, I am with the author, and in a fictional tale, usually crime fiction, I am in the mind of the protagonist.

Do you agree with C.S. Lewis, and do you always identify with the protagonist?

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Now posting on Fridays

Amanda  – Something to Ponder About

35 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

    1. It seems to be the same sort of sentiment, Peggy. But is that adage still applicable today as it runs contrary to let the buyer beware/ user pays mentality. I have had several bad meals at restaurant where they apologise but do not make any kind of other recompense towards the customer. Have you found that these days?

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      1. Ok! I use urbanspoon or zomato app on my smart phone for Restaurants although have posted very few indeed. Do you temper bad reviews or let rip, if you have had a bad experience?

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  1. The Jewish proverb reminds me of the notion of customer service. So many times I’ve visited shops only to be treated rudely by the salespeople – talking to the other salespeople as they are ringing up my order, not looking my way when I am asking them a question about a product or just being surly faced overall. It doesn’t make me feel valued as a customer when the salesperson doesn’t put in the effort to at least be polite and treat me as human. I was also thinking about the quote from another angle: if you don’t have the passion for something and if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. Not only might you hurt others along the way when you show your dislike for what you do, you also hurt yourself.
    Haha, when I read I like to be alone and realising there are others like me can be comforting. The reasons I read has got more to do with learning, though – learning about myself and learning about the world in the process.

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    1. I do agree Mabel. Customer service is almost a conversational art form. Whether it is s simple transaction or something more protracted, a good experience can leave us with a happy feeling as opposed to a disgruntled, disappointed feeling if the shop keeper or assistant is distracted, brusque or arrogant. Some people struggle with dealing with people and their needs all day, and certain personalities suit this sort of job more than others. Such people are very good at small talk. They genuinely seem to take an interest in other people and it shows when the customers face lights up in happiness. Contrast this with the forced greeting from staff at Kmart or other large stores which is a tad irritating to a customer who has visited several shops in a row. How do to feel about answering those sales assistants, Mabel ? Especially when they press you with a second or third question about your plans for the rest of the afternoon?

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      1. That is so true – some people struggling dealing with people, just like how some of us might not be the best fit for a customer service role…and maybe even be a customer because of our shortcomings or say, mental state. As an introvert, I do not like small talk with the cashier or sales attendants. Even when I am browsing, I am not a fan of them coming up to me, though I know some of them might mean well. I usually just go, ‘Fine, thanks. Just looking’ and they usually get the message and let me be, which I like 🙂

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        1. Yes I think it is a shame that they are trained for security reasons to force conversation and small talk. I feel a bit sorry for them and always chat a little. Other times, I give a short answer but also have body language that I would prefer to browse on my own. We were, just today looking at real estate and the agent was literally breathing down or neck during the whole of the inspection. It made the decision process quite difficult and uncomfortable. I think it might depend on what mood I am in. I am always polite to Telemarketers, however, as I have quite a bit of sympathy for them having worked in the field once. It was a hard gig!! Telemarketers need to be really extroverted!!

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        1. I didn’t upgrade as much as changed and modified the theme. Your blog looks pretty fresh already and visually attractive. I was inspired by you to design a logo for my blog, in graphic format, Lorelle. Your blog is just perfect as is, so how can you improve on perfection?

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          1. YesI remember we discussed extra storage. I believe the self hosted blogs are a bit more work adding your own plugins and maintaing,as wordpress does that for you on the free blogs. However on the flip side, you have more choice of plug ins to add. I look forward to seeing what design you come up with.

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  2. Heheh… not sure how many storeowners who are grouchy looking stay in business for long. Unless they have something everyone needs and nobody else offers.
    When we read, we are transported away from our present location. When reading history we get transported back in time. When reading novels we are like the side kicks of the heroes…

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    1. Oh you get it too, Mel and Suan!! Fiction is escapism!! But Mabel is right, reading is for some more about learning, even if it is about a fictional character or place. Historical fiction is awesome like that. It can spark interest in reading about history and events as well as being entertaining.

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  3. As for reading for learning, Mabel, I absolutely agree it is about learning. Reading can be for pleasure but I am always learning every time I read, even with fictional books.

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    1. That is a very good point, Ineke. Reading is great exercise for the brain. Use it or lose it, is an accurate adage as one gets older. How are things with you? Is the memoir selling well?

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      1. I find that your or my brain gets lazy if I don’t keep on reading. And then the writing is also excellent to keep going. I started before and after school sessions again on Thursday(1 Feb). I still enjoy it and it keeps me occupied as well. At he moment it’s only the family buying the eBook. I am going to order some paperbacks and show it to friends and interested people. I’ll sell it personally too. People also recommend that you always need to have a copy in your handbag.

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        1. Definitely a good idea to have a copy or two with you! Is there a South African or Dutch Association in Wellington or the Hutt? They might be interested in canvassing your memoir, or you could donate one to a raffle as a way to spread the word. (One of their members could review it in their Association newsletter)?

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  4. The Jewish proverb isn’t just about business and customer service, although its verbiage appears to focus on that. It’s also a reference to communicating with people overall. We introverts aren’t always the friendliest of individuals, but I know it’s still appropriate to treat others with a certain degree of respect. We artists – whatever the discipline – want others to acknowledge and honor our work; thus, it’s vital for us to recognize the value of different backgrounds and life experiences. That means we have to take note of the people who possess those lives and what they can offer us. They don’t have to spend the night our homes, and we don’t have to give them access to our bank accounts. But an exchange of information and ideas is always healthy.

    The Lewis quote fits me perfectly! Anyone who’s ever felt alone or isolated can find some solace in literature and / or many forms of art. When we think (or realize) we’re different from most everyone around us, we want some validation that we’re not the only ones in this world like that. When we endure an ordeal that no one else nearby seems to relate to, we again look for a sense of community. Even if we find that in a fictional book or a painting of an unknown figure, a connection is made, and the otherwise hopeless individual can begin to feel complete. Reading and writing in both my youth and young adulthood kept me from killing myself or hurting others, before I understood how to handle depression and anxiety. I was able to learn about others who felt as I did and then write about these experiences in seemingly fictional stories, where I always change the names to protect myself.

    I also highly recommend people take up some kind of journal writing. I’ve been doing that for nearly 35 years now, and again, expressing my true thoughts in writing saved me from great harm. Like exercise and meditation, it’s very therapeutic and ultimately healthy.

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    1. ” They don’t have to spend the night in our homes, and we don’t have to give them access to our bank accounts. But an exchange of information and ideas is always healthy.” What a delightful attitude you have, Alejandro. A pro-active one that aims for increased knowledge and continual striving for self-improvement. And I am all for that!! Everyone is important and can show us a different way, technique, attitude, action, reaction etc. They can show us the flip side to the values that we have been taught and in doing so, can open our eyes to something new. We may choose to reject that way, but we have learnt a new thing.
      I am an information seeker and exchanger. Heck, my blog speel says just that! If we don’t open our mind to other’s values and thoughts, we can never progress and expand on our thinking.
      I agree a journal is a wonderful idea. As I said to Marlene and Ineke, thoughts can restrain and shackle us, and writing is a perfect outlet for thoughts as it is not always easy to find the right person who is open-minded, accepting and who listens. Words can release us from a mental prison. I would never have suspected that you were introverted, but you are among good company, and there are quite a few of us, who identify similarly with introversion, and express themselves creatively through writing. Have you published any of your stories?

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  5. well I love CS Lewis and all – but my fav quote and point here is: Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile –
    because it struck a nerve – and people – listen up – do not go into business if you cannot be pleasant to people – lol – the smile is so important

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    1. The knock on effect of a negative customer experience is terribly disproportionate to the single action itself. On the other hand, a smile and genuine interest by a merchant, can also spread far and wide with just ‘word of mouth’.
      Do you think we could almost apply this rule to everyday life, Yvette? A smile and a kind word can spread ripples of positivity in all directions as we go about our everyday lives.

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      1. I fully agree, Amanda.
        and sometimes we can have no smile and still be cordial or just “chill.”
        and on a side note – I almost used your blog in a fiction piece this week….
        the topic at “what pegman saw” (a fiction challenge) was Norway and your vikings art was calling me…
        but I ran out of time and went in a different direction….

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        1. Awww. Wow. I am honoured that your thought of using my little corner of the blogging world. I am intrigued now and want to know more about what Pegman did see in the story you wrote!!

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