Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

Proverbs and sayings provide us wise words from all corners of the world whose subtext is a moral lesson or statement. 

Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings are often handed 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.


An American Indian Proverb this week that seems self-explanatory: –




Every accomplishment begins with the decision to TRY. Therefore, must we also, at this point, decide to be brave?

Or does the desire to be thought of as brave come later?





There is little need for me to introduce the author of the quote, for this week. Perhaps you did not know that Ernest Hemingway talked about the FBI spying on him later in life. He was treated with electroshock.

It was later revealed that Hemingway was in fact watched, and Edgar Hoover had him placed under surveillance. Perhaps, in light of this, the following Hemingway quote is particularly apt.



Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck Figures

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

– Ernest Hemingway


What do you make of the quotes?

Do you find many people don’t listen fully to what is said?

What factors influence whether they listen or not?


Some Wisdom to Ponder About this Friday*Blog

Now posting on Fridays*

18 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. A good listener is rare. We are all so busy and out minds are buzzing non-stop. Look at all the activity on the mobile phone. People are constantly busy, and listening means getting away from being self- occupied.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is indeed easier to appear courageous from afar. Come any closer and most might recoil back.
    The lack of listening is why we only get part of the message and misunderstand another

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny how many misunderstandings occur when communication breaks down or is flawed, isn’t it, Mel and Suan? Yet listening skills are not emphasized once we are out of school. Listening should be a skill we practise everyday so that we don’t miscontrue messages. It is believed that great political leaders who are very popular with the people have learnt how to really listen, or give the impression of listening 100% to the individual, even if they don’t act on it what it is said and that this is in part what is described as ‘charisma.’ Listening and reflecting back or paraphrasing is a skill that should makes for better communication.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Listening skills are indeed something we’ve not placed enough focus on. And politicians. Heheh… they who indeed manage to convince people they have listened seem to be more succcessful

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Very True, Ineke. Receivers often pick out one or two words that the other person utters, and then begin to formulate their answer, and in so doing, miss the rest of the information the sender is saying! As we age, our mental processes slow down and we need to be more comfortable with silence between conversation partners. This silence could mean that they are reflecting on the words that were said and formulation an answer. Silence is often viewed as ignorance, arrogance or awkwardness, which it nearly always is not!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was a newspaper reporter and my job depended on me listening carefully. These days my attention can drift. There are lots of different kinds of bravery, so distance isn’t always a factor, but I agree with the essence of the quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Distance isn’t always a factor, Peggy, as you say, but when I read these words, I think of the person who is happy to bark orders to someone else who is near the front line of conflict. If we sense we are out of danger, emotionally or physically, we grow more confident, and can display a protective, encouraging demeanor. If we are really in the danger zone, it is not so easy to be brave, but in some situations, we are absolutely required to do certain things. Those things make us petrified, and to outsiders this can seem like bravery.
      I also notice the beginning of a drifting attention span. It takes a concerted effort to understand complex things that, when younger, I would only have needed to have one ear on, to grasp! Now I need more than two and also sometimes, need days to sink in, for certain matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No doubt that was the original intention, but it seems like an oxymoron to state it! I was sure that there was something deeper, albeit not implied in the original sense, but useful to ponder upon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I try so hard to be an attentive listener, but I think I’m getting worse it, not better. My mind drifts so easily these days, and somehow I think that’s linked to internet overuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard reports on our distraction levels rising with the use of social media and smartphones. Students don’t read whole books anymore, just ctrl F and copy and paste. Thus they don’t get the deeper understanding of things that we might have or internet. More info but less depth. I heard one report saying that we should spend one day a week off our phones and internet and see the difference with our attention levels. The scrolling through social media gets us used to short bursts of attention. I don’t know what this means for our young ones?????


      1. I honestly don’t think I’d manage a full day off full social media and the internet. I find myself wracking my brains for something I can look up, just for an excuse for screen time. I try sometimes to resist, no hope! It’s like a drug.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve made me think again. Being brave is not something I find easy. I decided not to go to embroidery group this morning as it’s quite icy out and where I was going is up a steep hill. I probably could have made it but I would have white knuckled it and maybe had an accident. I decided to be safe and cautious instead. Now put one of my loved ones at risk, I’d be all over it. As for listening, I noticed that I am a talker and not the best listener so I bought some cards to remind me to do more listening. Serious listening. Sometimes we hear what we expect to hear and not what is actually said. It’s kind of a lost art like letter writing. I work harder at it now that I’m aware of my shortcomings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Listening is a skill that probably requires practice otherwise we get rusty. Especially as we get older. I don’t hink it was brave but sensible not to walk/drive on that icy road if it wasn’t an emergency and it could be avoided. Common sense always has a place in decision making or we can hope that it does.
      Serious listening had many components. Paraphrasing, reflecting on the content, checking back and questioning to clarify. Maybe more but that is what I can think of, off the top of my head. We often formulate our answers as the person is talking to us. In doing this, we may miss vital information or that hidden meaning conveyed in nin verbal cues or ‘behind’ the words, as our brain is focused on remembering our next question or our response.
      You already are at an advantage in realising this, Marlene as many people aren’t aware of their shortcomings. I guess it is a whole spectrum of listening out there are others who may focus to much on their own shortcomings in poor auditory skills and be super- critical of themselves. Overall, I think you are right, listening is a lost art.

      Liked by 1 person

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