Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

Contemplation

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.

The proverb, I have chosen to examine, this week is not listed as coming from any particular region of the world so that means it must have universal meaning. Right?

The dog that quits barking can get some sleep.

~ Traditional Proverb

Does it have universal meaning for you? What do you see as its meaning?

Are we always on alert, like the watch dog? Do we lack sleep or restful down time due to our vigilance? If so, vigilance over what, in particular? Jobs, family, children, religious rituals?

What is the proverb warning us about?

veterans

Gympie

In honour of Australia’s  Anzac Day, I have chosen the following quote:

“If I had to take hell.

I would choose the Australians to take it, and the New Zealanders to hold it!”

~ Erwin Rommel

wreath veterans

However, for those for whom Anzac day holds no significance, there is this quote, in the current series from Ancient Greek philosophers:

“Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind.” –Plato

Is seeing reality really perceiving the truth?

The message in Plato’s quote, was discussed, somewhat obliquely in the commentary, with blogger Mabel Kwong, last week. You can find it here if you wish to read the back story.

Please join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Proverbial Friday really giving you Something to Ponder About

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18 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

  1. It seems so simple that about changing our mind, but how far is it really possible to do so? It seems as if I’ve read countless blogs written by those with troubled thoughts, but they don’t seem to be able to change their situation, by changing their thoughts. I realize, telling others about what ails the soul, is one way to help work things out, but when the next blog tells about continued stress and distress, then it doesn’t seem certain that we are/will be able to alter our own troubled/tortured “fate”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point to make, NottheDane!
      There seems to me to be a number of reasons for this as I see it.
      Firstly, there is the small minority of folk who perversely enjoy their own style of a ‘pity party.’ They need to process or talk through their negative thoughts and frustrations eternally, (sometimes at the expense of those closest to them); then another the CBT style of dealing with this, recognizing the negative and acknowledging it, then transforming it to something more positive or realistic. This method may sometimes fail to help some folk along with other similar strategies to ‘change the brain’s thinking patterns.’ As you say, one cannot simply change thoughts by thinking that we will do so. Some of us struggle very much with this aspect. Why doesn’t it work?
      Perhaps it is like this: one can call oneself, for example, a duck 100, 000 times in a day but doing this won’t ever change us into a duck nor will it make us feel more like a duck for saying it.
      Notwithstanding brainwashing techniques, it is not easy to change one’s thoughts or feelings. And I think it is pretty simplistic to suggest that a depressed person can actually think themselves to a cure. Whilst we may be able to influence subtle changes in our amygdala or mood, with drugs/determination and thoughts of challenging ourselves, one also needs motivation to carry this out successfully. How do we find motivation? We must discover it ourselves. We are all on different stages of a life journey and with each stage we look to get our needs met which ever way we can. We cannot move to a higher level of thinking that is more outwardly focussed and less internally orientated towards our problems unless our underlying fundamental needs are met. If and when those needs are met, sometimes triggered by a significant life event or circumstance, then our thinking morphs into something less pathological. Maslow’s theory made some sense to me, Notthedane. But don’t underestimate the immediate value of a good friend who listens without judgement.

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  2. The first thing that came to mind when I read the dog quote was that barking is what a dog does naturally. Dogs bark for a reason and it is a form of expression. They are a different species than us humans and we don’t understand what a dogs means. It is sort of like a child or baby crying. I guess to an extent I don’t agree with the quote. Sure, one can get more sleep and maybe things done if they focus but sometimes other things are stopping or distracting us from doing that.
    That Plato quote really is so apt with the discussion that we had. I think our mind is often influenced by what we believe in and the values we uphold. Sometimes we might be unwilling to change either of these and so find it hard to change our mind. Sometimes maybe we change our minds because of the reality presented upon us, and we go forward with a more positive outcome.

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    • As we have chatted about, a change of perspective might reveal things that could trigger a change of thinking/state of mind/opinion, Mabel but only if we remain open to the possibility. Our values can be notoriously stubborn and resistant to change, ensuring that we perceive only what we want to see or read. Dogs are portents of potential danger and perhaps the quote refers to ‘getting things off our chest,’ lest they keep us awake at night? Is that possible, Mabel?

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      • Sometimes certain things we can’t solve right before we go to bed. It’s why I never agreed with the phrase don’t go to bed angry at your partner, or something along those lines. Sometimes we just need space from the issue and need to put the issue or problem out of our mind… Not to say you stop ‘barking’ completely, but just momentarily.

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      • Yes I did agree that space is important to sift through the clatter and charter in one’s mind and those issues that confront or challenge us. Time also allows for heightened emotions to settle and clarity of thought to supercede panicked knee jerk reactions.

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  3. The dog that quits barking can get some sleep. I had not heard that one before but it makes sense. If we worry on something and complain about it we get no rest. Alerting others to an issue does no good if no one wants to pay attention. After a bit of barking, you have to let it go and let whatever is going to happen, happen. We can’t be vigilant 24/7/365. Exhausting.

    “If I had to take hell, I would choose the Australians to take it, and the New Zealanders to hold it!” That just tells me the stuff you are made of is very strong. To come to such rough country, settle it and then hold it for yourselves takes some tenacity and perseverance. That’s quite the compliment.

    “Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind.” We can be looking at the same thing and see it differently. You can see a warm sunny day, I can see a miserable and hot day. Same temp and amount of sun, just a different perspective and filter of observation. If I change my mindset, I can create a different experience of that same moment. It holds true for the comment under that sweet photo ~ is seeing reality really perceiving the truth? Whose reality are we talking about? We each create our own. I had no idea how true that was but have become quite awake to it over the years. Let’s say 2 family members are at the same party. They each remember it entirely differently. Whose reality is correct? It’s a lot like our election here. Many were very happy with the results and many saw it as catastrophic. Different realities. It’s fascinating! Thanks for making us think. Amanda. 😉

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    • Thank you, Marlene! I too find the question of perception of reality and differing perspectives fascinating. Each person will remember each occasion or event slightly differently. Sometimes I can’t remember precisely what was said ten minutes ago! So why do we often hold people to account based on, “but you said…..” We then act on what we think they said, or more precisely, what we hear, spin our own interpretations on it, and then deliver the message to a third person, possibly in a different format again!!! Does this proverb teach us to be more flexible in our insistence on communication as evidence? Should we all be checking back or paraphrasing what we think we heard? Possibly so, but not feasible every single time! Still, all in all a very good reminder to be vigilant with our choice of words and to clarify and be more understanding of differing viewpoints. The simple analogy of the weather you gave in your comment, Marlene, says it all, in a nutshell!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps the barking of a dog can be likened to someone who is constantly at work, not on a job but ceaselessly full of matter in the mind. Perhaps when one stops that for a while one can get a respite.
    And Plato is spot on. We each see the world in our own lenses. Our own ‘reality’. As social media and society in general influence us, our lenses and views change. New reality emerges!

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    • Another great angle to the Barking dog analogy. I did think of a hard worker when I first read the proverb. Someone who is relentless in their task to protect, or produce! But in the end they must stop and rest!
      Reality is, in essence, Mel and Suan, dynamic, don’t you think? Constantly evolving and fluid! It is almost like a trying to hold an icicle. At first it feels cold and frozen, then melts against the warmth of one’s hand, turning wet and cool. Then finally when we think it is just a puddle of cool water, it might be warmed by the sun, turning tepid, or be frozen again into ice at night. Different form but same substance. Just like perspective and reality!!

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  5. ‘Don’t wake sleeping dogs’ came about because the barking wakes up people. Our dog knows not to bark during the night or around our place. He barks at noisy motor bikes and we figure he reckons noisy motor bikes are a type of noisy dog.
    I find barking dogs reassuring. We had a dog that would sing when an opera was on the radio. I miss him. His name was ‘spotty.’

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    • what a fun dog Spotty sounds. Dogs are enormous comfort andI never really get invert losing them. A piece of my heart goes with them. It is like losing a child. I do believe the dog will bark when it is unhappy or as a warning. Nothing wrong with that. Barking is a way if communicating.

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    • I am glad you understood the humour and that the Plato quote has relevance for you. It is particularly apt for me as well as it has helped me accept to re-think circumstances and events that go against my values and try to see them in a more positive light.

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