Proverbial Friday – 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 Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.



“When it rains soup, the poor man has no spoon.”

– Swedish Proverb




Dalahest - Traditional horses




Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”

– Robert McKee


guitar art


Robert McKee, A Fulbright Scholar, is the most sought after screenwriting lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 30 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. However, McKee has been criticized for teaching screenwriting without ever having a script of his made into a film.


Thinking about the Swedish proverb, does it seem a little shallow or simplistic, to you? Poor communities can after all, have a very rich life, albeit not in materialistic or monetary terms. Is the proverb referring only to financial matters ?

And what do you make of Robert McKee’s words? Media can be used as a propaganda tool but is the media capable of suggestions of thought? Storytelling can teach us lessons in allegorical form, but can it also lead to misconceptions  by the reader or viewer? Take, for example, teenage girls who think they should look and act a certain way, based on watching mainstream TV? Do you think that media is purely entertainment value for the discerning viewer and that entertainment value can be separated from unrealistic impressions that relationships should be always be blissful, and an institutions such as marriage is always just a walk in the park. If this is true, could storytelling still be conducive or counterproductive to happiness?

I would be pleased to hear your thoughts.



Proverbial Friday – Something to ponder deeply about

~ Amanda




7 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. Interesting as usual, Amanda. This time I will try to explain the Swedish proverb though…: When good things happen, the poor person cannot take advantage of it. It does not have to be about money or other economy matters. You can be “poor” concerning many other things. The other day I read about art and artists and a special exhibition of theirs. In the discussion where this proverb was used, it meant that art could not reach people properly unless they were taught/used to looking at and appreciating art. Another example is the IT society and many elderly people who cannot take advantage of all the possibilities offered – because they have no smart phone or computer. So I would say education, knowledge and adaptability – and more…not only an economy use.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey Anne Christine! ‘Takk så mycket’ for explaining the Swedish meaning. That makes so much sense! And what a wonderful proverb to encourage education and open-mindedness! I can see your examples amplify the difficulties and contrast within the range of demographics in society. I have often heard people lamenting the price a piece of abstract art will fetch, claiming that they themselves, could do something just as good. It is also interesting how your contemporary example of using the proverb, (ie. regarding technology and how it excludes older people who are often feel befuddled or confused by computers), is so pertinent today, yet the proverb is no doubt very old. The spoon is also noteworthy isn’t it? Give people the right tools, be that education or knowledge or adaptability, and they can also enjoy the “soup.” I think I like this proverb even more now!! And quite apt that a Swedish teacher should comment!! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Being without a spoon when it rains soup, owning only chopsticks would be hard too. We take many simple things for granted. I admire the invention of the cloth peg and what about the paper clip?
    I suppose the proverb forces one to appreciate the simple things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like your take on it Gerard! What a difference little things have made to our lives. And we take them so much for granted. How does one even come up with the idea to make a paper clip? Ingenious!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was interested in what you had to say about McKee. I had no idea he’s never had a script come to fruition. On the subject of quotes, I find most quotes very contextual. Some, while poetic, do not resonate with me at all. Others offer profound wisdom. The Swedish proverb seems to refer to what is known as the trickle down effect – or the failure of it. While people at the top benefit and grow richer, it doesn’t always trickle down to the poorest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha! Another angle to the Swedish proverb! The failure of the Trickle down theory; “Trickle down theory” suggests that if the rich are prosperous, those on the economic stairs below will follow suit. Furthermore, that we all have the opportunity to become rich, under such a system, if we work or study hard enough. Yet reality tells us that isn’t always so. Trickle down economics has been so debunked, I feel it has become a subject of ridicule! Yet some economists still believe in it as a policy standard! They really must be wearing blinkers!
      I agree that it is surprising about McKee. Who would have thought that?
      I do also agree with you, that many quotes are contextual, and misunderstandings occur when words are taken out of context, (and in this respect, storytelling and quotes are the same), but I think any misunderstandings or variance in interpretation makes for a terribly interesting discussion; ie: to look at the various nuances of thought that a diverse audience may advance. One reader’s oblique interpretation may never occur to the majority of the remaining readers and if posted, or voiced, could potentially open the mind and attitude to other possibilities. In this way, deconstructing quotes can be a help to better communication and perhaps global wisdom and tolerance. Quotes, very definitely, can be subjective. I hate some quotes, and a few I might still post for discussion Robyn, whilst other resonate so deeply within me and my words and comments on them reflect just that. We are all individuals and that is what makes the discussions variable and dynamic. I so value what everyone has to say!
      Thanks Robyn, for such a great comment!! That made me think!


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