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.

Photo by Flickr on


When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

Indian proverb




Photo by shy sol on



“They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, I told them they didn’t understand life.”

–John Lennon




Feelings are like chemicals, the more you analyze them the worse they smell.

~ Charles Kingsley




Charles Kingsley was a English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, who must have had some strong feelings that greatly disturbed him. I am certain that thinking for too long about something might be a curse, in that one sometimes feels that there’s never a moment of peace, in one’s own mind, from the self-talk.  The memory receptors, in our brain, work by reconstructing events, and with each recall of memory, there appears to be a slight change or enhancement of the memory, so if they are recalled often, they might be far from the reliable truths we regard them to be. More often, we find memories are often peppered with an individual’s own particular bias, rather than a precise itinerary of events.

But the Indian proverb, refers to something completely different, don’t you think?

Or can you see a correlation between quote and proverb?


I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please feel very welcome to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, below.




Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

If you wish to join in, check out Purple Pumpernickel for the Rules.


Now posting on Fridays

Indeed this is something for us to ponder about


24 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. I see the proverb referring to unavoidable collateral damage, whereas I see the Kingsley quote referring to avoidable localized damage. But I could be wrong, so I have to ponder some more …


    1. I think you are on to something, Elizabeth! Collateral damage between titans, or larger nations, results in small fry or smaller nations being crushed or damaged underfoot. The Kingsley quote is much more personal. Dwelling and over dwelling on matters of the mind, can results in confusion, indolence and ennui.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hij heeft de klok horen luiden maar hij weet niet waar de klepel hangt.

    A Dutch proverb translated in English; He has heard the bell ring but doesn’t know where the clapper hangs.
    An uneducated opinion or person.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first quote reminds me of family arguments: say the parents are arguing, and the kids watch on. It is the kids who might suffer in the long run, wondering if there is such a thing as a happy family or what really is a happy family. I guess thinking about the broader context, fights be it on the political front or a fight on the streets often has an effect on others who are watching or looking on, or some innocent bystander. They might feel the after-effects of the fight, and that fight might have consequences in the long run.

    John Lennon’s words are often poetic. Really not too sure what to make of that phrase, though. I don’t think it’s possible to understand everything life can offer. What is life is also a question – is it the life that we live, what really is life and happiness.

    Feelings are so complex. Each of us feels differently. For instance, what makes one happy might not make another person happy. I guess the more we analyse feelings, the more confused we may become. There is just so many layers of feelings, and so many things that can contribute to making us feel a certain way.

    I found this week’s quotes challenging lol 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your analogy regarding family conflict is a good one to highlight one of the possible inferences of this proverb, Mabel! But this is good, as it does have a much wider application as well. I thought of the elephants as nations, strong political powers that crush a small island nation in the milieu.
      John Lennon had a rebellious streak and when I read the quote, I immediately thought of the recalcitrant schoolboy being reprimanded by the dutiful teacher. John, being John, had a different perspective on what was important for him, in living his life. Studies, or the bigger picture stuff? Is life experience more important for some people who struggle with mainstream education, and qualifications. What about the Corporate hotel chain CEO who started out as a laundry attendant?
      Feelings can evolve and change so quickly according to our own self-talk and perceptions. Feelings are the result of our perception, are coloured by our upbringing and life experience, and are then spat out by our nervous system. Which can get carried away with itself, when the amygdala gets over- aroused. I thought the chemical reference was interesting too, as the brain uses chemicals to transfer the messages through the neurons.


      1. I always think it is life experience or experience in general that will get one over the line. That said, society is so quick to look down on some who don’t have a certain qualification – it’s just the way the world works. But if we are keen on making our way, then I guess we will. Sometimes all it takes is one opportunity and one person to believe in us and we are on our way.


        1. All it takes is one person to believe in us, to give us that break! To take us under their wing, to go out on a limb for us. These kinds of employers and employees are worth their weight in gold. Someone gave my daughter a big break, as a school leaver with limited experience. She appreciated that with a return of hard work and loyalty! Unfortunately, those with degrees are not always the best choice, and it is a shame society is so focused that way. It is great to encourage education, but not to focus solely on it, without alternate work qualities valued similarly.


          1. Those people are hard to come by. But they are out there. It is something special when someone is willing to give you a chance and not judge your background. I do think education teaches us discipline too – it can be challenging slugging out a course or subject if we find it difficult, but we might need that kind of formal education to see the bigger picture.


            1. Oh I do agree that education can open your eyes, and provide you with information, perspective, history and foresight/opinion/analysis that one might not come across without formalized teaching. So without a doubt, we can’t do without formal education, however, for those who cannot for a variety of reasons, access or do not wish to access tertiary education, there is still avenues to find success and personal fulfillment. They might have to be more creative or persevering in order to achieve.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Absolutely, Mabel. The internet is so accessible to most of us, we can even access it for free in the local libraries in our country. There was an organization putting free internet stations in parts of Africa and India, just for educational purposes. Then again, we have to be conscious that everything on the internet may not be true, it could just be opinion. And education can come from peer tutoring as well.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I read these yesterday and had to come back to them. Yes, everything around someone fighting will be damaged in some way. The bigger the fighters, the more the damage. As in parents vs children and leaders vs followers.
    Feelings should be felt then let go of. The longer you sit in them, the worse you are going to feel. If you hang on to them too long, relationships will start to rot and so will you.
    John Lennon seemed to have issues with someones expectations of how something should be addressed. That’s the best I can do with that one on my limited brain power. 🙂 Plenty here to make one think. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Feelings should be felt then let go of. The longer you sit in them, the worse you are going to feel. If you hang on to them too long, relationships will start to rot and so will you.” This is profound, Marlene! You can often articulate and summarize exactly what I am thinking when I write the post. We are taught to accept our feelings, eliminate other feelings, interpret other’s feelings, control our worst feelings, and they dictate our level of happiness. Relationships must be nurtured and feelings are often hurt and misconstrued if communication is not clear or clarified.
      Thanks for your best wishes for a lovely weekend! It has been superb, a bit of beach, rain, socializing with friends and family. I hope your have had a restful weekend, as it sounds like you are “feeling” [!!] a bit overwhelmed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your kind words, Amanda. My weekend has been quite lovely. Daughter here yesterday and a friend in need dropping by this morning so a bit of tidying up in order. Overwhelm is my natural state. 🙂 I make plans and watch the Universal force laugh and play with them. I may have to write a post soon about what’s going on for me but have been putting it off. I was raised to not have feelings of any nature. So I’ve spent a lifetime trying to learn what to do with them. Negative feelings poison your own body while happy, positive feelings can create wellness. Learning to let go of perceived slights, is easier for some than others. Had to learn how to not stuff them down and look at things openly and then let go after I challenge the feeling. Feelings are not facts so you have to be careful.


  5. Can you just imagine how much loss or damage has been done to artefacts, amazing buildings, and stunning geographical features when bombarded by the clashes of mankind. Even thinking of the devastation to some amazing architecture when Henry VIII butted heads with the papal church is food for thought. But when thinking about the damage being done with the weapons available today, apart from the human life lost, and human suffering, it’s gut wrenching to think of the ‘damage being done to the grass’. How much history is being lost forever.


    1. An extremely good point, Chris and the proverb to me does refer to this type of collatoral damage. So much senseless waste and destruction- destruction of material goods as well as emotional and physical devastation of those involved post-war, or conflict. We have nuclear weapons capable of annihilating our planet, and unless they are kept in check, there won’t be any grass at all.


      1. I was going to click ‘like’, but then I thought again. ‘Like’ is perhaps not a suitable acknowledgement of such a thought. There should be a button that says, “wholeheartedly agree”.

        Liked by 1 person

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