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.


The proverb this week comes from Poland.


Christchurch Cathedral Square



In a game it’s difficult to know when to stop. ~ Polish Proverb


I do believe that there is another layer to the Polish quote. But what is it?

The game of Life? 

Does it refer to our competitive natures? Or the overwhelming desire to win?


If indeed that proverb relates to competition, we would do well to remember this saying –


“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” ~ George S. Patton



U.S. Army General George Patton earned the nickname Old Blood and Guts and served in both World Wars, so perhaps he had incisive terms of reference, for his quote. 

Do you believe we have an innate ability to spring back from rock bottom, often called in contemporary times: resilience, or, can it be learned through education? 

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





Now posting on Fridays

Indeed this is something for us to ponder about




20 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. I also wonder what that other layer to the Polish quote is. ‘Game’ can be so many things – a literal game like a board game or video game or a sport or some circumstance where there is competition as you alluded to. Games can be fun, such as the games where we play it with others for a good time or a means to pass the time – and so it can be fun to stop because who wants to stop. On the other hand, competitive games are also hard to stop; we might reach a certain target and might get the desire to push ourselves and see how far we can go. This can be seen as a way to better ourselves and our skills, but potentially we can push ourselves too far.
    The second quote reminds me of the sayings that success isn’t about winning but it’s about getting up after we fall, again again. When we are faced with challenges that usually tests our resilience and going through hard times, we learn so much more – and when we finally get what we want it feels so much sweeter. Funny how the world likes to harp on hard times. At times they might look down upon these moments but for some reason, these are the moments that a lot of us will remember for a long time.
    I think education is a must wherever we are headed. None of us have all the answers the world or are able to explain and work our every situation. Education should be all the time: when we fall, when we are wandering, when we are dreaming. in pursuit of moving ahead and moving along.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Games are fun to play and foster a sense of joy, luck, and happiness, but might also in some instances, foster a sense of exclusiveness and sadness, if luck is not on one’s side. This proverb might also refer to quitting, as you alluded to, Mabel. We do want to challenge ourselves, but we also must be cautious enough to find that happy medium between challenge and over – extension. “If we walk too far out on the limb, it will break! ”
      Richard Petty said: No one wants to quit when he’s losing and no one wants to quit when he’s winning, either. And this is what I feel the Polish proverb is telling us.
      In reference to George Patton, hard times are indeed an opportunity to learn and this is a recurrent theme in many of the proverbs, isn’t it, Mabel? And why is that? Because, I think, we all suffer greatly when we fall upon hard times. They are painful to bear. We find them difficult and firstly, it is often hard to rationalize in our own minds, what their long term purpose might be and secondly, to realize the opportunities they might provide for us. Resilience has its own reward and I agree that after a hard fought battle persisting through tough times, the results are often so much sweeter and the memories stick, as you cleverly pointed out. Yet many of us do not want to experience the roughness, and always look for the smooth. We might still focus more on shorter term pleasures rather than the longer distant ones. And herein lies a dilemma.
      We are constantly reminded to live in the present, not for the future, but isn’t looking to the longer term result, actually living somewhat in the future? Furthermore, to endure the tough times, do we not, in some instances, have to step back from the present, and wish it over with?


      1. You are so right that the proverb can also refer to the flipside which is quitting and throwing in the towel. It reminds me of the saying quit while you are ahead, which I think is a reminder once again to know our limits…or that too much games we lose track of reality and other important things around us.
        That Richard Petty quote is worth pondering. If we’re the kind who likes to keep doing and achieving, it can certainly be hard to quit at any point.
        I like how you brought about the idea that hard times are a recurrent theme in many proverbs. Really love how you ran away with the idea and I think what you wrote there could be an entire page in our book, maybe as an introduction or somewhere in the middle 🙂 The short term vs long term dilema you described there is very real indeed. Why suffer when you can have a smooth ride and achieve an outcome which ain’t what entirely what you want, but it aint’ half bad – or you might still get what you want anyway but it just takes much longer.
        Interesting also about actually always living in the future. As a planner I like to look ahead to the future and try to plan for things to come. Maybe some of us might wish the present over if it was a very rough time.


        1. @ Mabel: I am glad that you want to include this topic in the book. I will add in to our drafts to be edited. Humans can be fickle creatures and so unpredicable,so what we think today may change tomorrow. Some days we can tough it out under harrowing circumstances and others, something simple is the straw that breaks the camel’s back as we cave in under pressures. Perhaps this is the solution, the world is not black and white so we can’t be either. We must be allowed to swing between both extremes, and resilience may not be a fixed nor constant personality trait, but fluctuate with the vagaries of life’s twists and turns.
          A Planner’s job is to try to ride this rollercoaster and be in the best position to hold on tight and not be thrown off and this means we have to look forward. We all prefer to move time along faster if the present is boring, difficult, stressful, lonely, but time is its own master and we must run along with its rhythm.


          1. True that us humans are fickle minded. But I guess sometimes we don’t know what we want yet. It takes time to come to know what we truly want and what truly makes us happy. As you said, the world is not black and white.


  2. Not quite sure what to make of the first one. I’ve never been much of a game player myself. No competitive nature in me. I’m the odd person that competes against myself trying to do better with each project. Bouncing back from bottom is something I understand. Resiliency is probably the most important character trait a human can have. Everyone hits a low sometime in life. The ability to get back up and keep going are essential. Have a lovely weekend, Amanda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marlene! When I think of team sports, I inwardly groan if forced to do it. I was usually the last one picked for sports teams at school, and I think this really put me off. I prefer the solo activities, so you might guess that I am not especially competitive in games of sport! But in the game of life, perhaps I am. I have just organized a 10,000 step challenge at work and am quite fixated on getting as many steps as possible, as well as motivating my team!
      You sound to me like an extremely resilient person, and many of us can learn a lot from you, in that sense. It is so easy to give up. Patton’s quote I feel is quite true when judging character and resilience.
      I hope your weekend is sunny and joyful, Marlene. Thanks for a great comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo that is a good saying, Robyn. Sometimes one has to sink to incredible depths in order to appreciate a life that we have possibly could have , or did have. At the bottom one might have a clear view as life is raw and only filed with basic needs. This creates a different perspective and one is able to view life in a completely different angle. Minor things suddenly become much more valuable and can be appreciated whet once they were disregarded ir not even given a second thought. Thank you for your comment, Robyn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This quote reminds me of a Ted Talk I heard some months ago by Jane McGonigal, a game designer. She designed a game called Superbetter which is a game which promotes healing. She decided to do this because of her own challenges and did it through a game because research she did showed that games allowed us to adopt superhero personas which allow us to do things which we might not usually think we can do. And in the game world, we persist for longer than we might in the real world.
    Incidentally, I tagged you in a 3-Day Quote Challenge on the off chance that you might want to join in (although you already have your scheduled quote posts). Mainly, I tagged you so that I could share your blog with some of my other blogfriends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the tag. I will go check the challenge out. I didn’t get a notification but they don’t always work!! I have participated in the quotes challenge once before but, but see no reason for me not to participate again, on my next post. Thank for thinking of me.
      I like the sound of that game of Jane’s, and the rationale behind it makes sense to me, kind is like a dream alter ego pethaps?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We guess the Polish proverb would mean to know one’s limits… heheh.
    On the other hand, the ability to bounce up high after hitting a low is indeed an indication of how a person have overcome the lows of life. Apt really to describe a successful turnaround!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all like to think we can bounce back if the worst thing happens in our lives, Mel and Suan. But sometimes even the strongest person can buckle at the knees and completely lose it when faced with tragedy, loss or disappointment. So what is the key to the ability to bounce back? Is there one overriding factor?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That will be next to impossible to say we suppose, for each person the circumstances are a unique blend of innate and external situation. If only there was an equation that can be used to solve this!

        Liked by 1 person

Everyone is important. What do you have to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.