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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 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 doorstep of the palace is very slippery

– Polish Proverb

palace warsaw 20160702_103444

 

“The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.”

-Dave Chappelle

 

Bergen view

 

What do you make of the Polish proverb?

Is it a warning against brown-nosing the elitists or those in authority?   

and as for the Quote this week:

Do you agree with Dave Chapelle? 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this week’s sayings.

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

 

StPA

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

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

BlogNow posting on Fridays

 

 

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52 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. Amanda, they are both very inviting to ponder about. The first one is very difficult indeed. Is it a warning not to start a fight with stronger ones? I rather believe that it is a warning to the palace itself. Not to think that money, awareness and elitism leads to happiness. It is a way that many dream but that has nothing to do with happiness. Most of them will fall and realize that this is not the way of happiness.

    Uhh and the second one: Being honest with yourself is indeed hard anyway. It presupposes that we examines and knows ourself exactly. That we know our desires and our dreams, our abilities and possibilities and that we tread a path that will do justice to us. The eyes of others will always be there and ignoring them is hard. Especially for people who want to make it right for others. For the ones, who get happiness through the happiness of others. But in extreme cases, it means standstill, because you can not make it all right to everybody and weighing up can never work out when the interests are in opposite directions. In fact, we have to learn to follow our own inner personality even if it needs time and it is hard to turn to a new unknown way and the fear stops us so often.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you again, Anie, and no problems with the WordPress gremlins this time with your comment, thank goodness!
      I do think the Polish proverb to infer the meaning that you propose. It is a funny thing in that everyone appears to implicitly know that money itself doesn’t lead to happiness, in fact it can cause more problems, and yet, we all get up every day trying to make more money, through our job, or our pastimes, or investments. We all seem to need that bit extra to make life more comfortable . It just goes to show that our economic life is totally geared towards consumption and monetary value. But what happens when we have all the money in the world? When you is no challenge to save for something special we would like to have that is presently beyond our reach? I think you only have to look at the Hotel heiress who ended her life because she was troubled with boredom and dissatisfaction. She didn’t have to work, she could buy anything she dreamed of, could shop as much as she liked and do whatever she liked but felt completely unfulfilled.
      But furthermore, it might refer to those who lose themselves in the pursuit of money, fame or fortune. They become shadows of their own selves and unpleasant company. They might lose their family, networks of friends and joy as they “slip” on those palace stairs!
      “The eyes of others will always be there and ignoring them is hard. Especially for people who want to make it right for others. ” This suggests an altruistic self with a socially anxious component. Is this what you meant? Dave’s comment made me think. He is a comedian who performs on stage, and often puts on a public face. He must feel he has to always be funny when around people he knows and doesn’t know. People expect that of him, yet he may have a different side that he keeps hidden. Does he use comedy to hide that private face? You are absolutely right that fear can stop us. It can stop us from showing that private face for fear of rejection, or misunderstanding. It can stop us from speaking out against something we feel is wrong. Does Dave use comedy to deal with this? I suppose we can only speak generally about those who feel socially anxious about revealing their true or inner selves. Those who seek to gain happiness through making others happy may be extroverted but also could be introverted. When interpreting Dave’s quote, I wondered whether introverts show less of their true self than extroverted people. What do you think, Anie?

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  2. Well those two quotes go very well together, Amanda! On the way to the top can lead to slips and falls while being true to who you are when everyone is watching can also be tough because everyone wants to fit in and look good doing it. I’ve not seen these quotes before so thanks for sharing them.

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    1. Thank you Marlene! The two quotes do have a certain correlation as if you are true to yourself you would not climb the palace steps without NON – SLIP shoes!!!! ( metaphorically speaking).
      Have a great weekend! I see your comments on some other new blogs that I have found recently. That is a good sign for our wider WordPress community.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. this is a very interresting comment for me.I agree 100% if the palace is the picture for happiness! Than certainly the way to the top / happiness needs some slips and falls, otherwise there would be no sense of our time on earth! But for me, the palace is terminated in a negative way….it is something about money, reputation and popularity…so something what has nothing to do with happiness!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Although I’m not overly informed about Elizabeth Taylor, I do think that she divorced very often and had problems with alcohol? Personal happiness has nothing to do with money, power or fame. It is an inner feeling and has more to do with “being true to oneself” and “fulfilling deep desires or wishes”.
        The palace staircase is therefore still difficult to interpretfor me. Does the palace really stand for wealth, power and fame, or does it stand for bliss?

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      2. I think the palace could stand for either of those options you mentioned, Anie. This is a modern take on the proverb. I think, if we viewed it in the historical sense, it might only stand for wealth, power and or, fame.

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      3. Oh yes, but I prefer the palace to be the symbol of happiness. The way to fame, money and power is of course slippery and there are many on this way, but happiness would be more worth to risk a slippery way!

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      4. I think also that life would not be fulfilling if we do not have problems along the way ( ie slips and falls). As unpleasant as they are, when we are able to overcome them we feel a sense of achievement and we learn so much. That said, it more depends on what we think the palace is and our means and motivation that we use to reach it.

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      5. “highs” and “downs” are necessairy for defining our life and happiness in life. To overcome without regret unplesant and sad moments in the past is a question of time and I think this is for the most people no problem as soon as they recognized that they needed to live sad moments aswell to dignify their happiness. Much more difficult I think is to fight the fear for the future for all unknown situations which are coming and therefore to chose your way. You are right: it is about defining your palace and look at your means and motivation.To listen to what you feel and what you learned.

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      6. Exactly, Anie. Listening to the inner self is voice is important in overcoming fear and examining our motivation and methods of attsining our dreams and goals. Sometimes the inner voice might get carried away and fear wins out over reason and common sense . So the voice is one er must certainly listen to but also we must be aware that that voice has to be checked against reality. If fear is let go too far, none of us would get out of bed in the mornings!!

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      7. thank you so much Amanda for this résumé. you always bring things in a nutshell.I think the sticking point, which often causes the fears is the „ checking the inner voice to reality“ . The fear: Are our feelings, dreams and wishes welcome in reality? But I agree completely that we have to overcome fear, otherwise life becomes horrible!

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      8. You challenge me to think more deeply, Anie. Are our feelings/dreams welcome in reality? That is a good question. Feelings are not facts. It is said we can’t help feelings, they just are. Sometimes feelings do need a reality check as they are unrealistic. It is considered the better more emotionally intelligent person who can walk away from conflict, or at least maintain composure in an argument, looking at the problem from a realist’s perspective. Feelings can be troublesome although life would also become horrible in their complete absence. Again it is a fine line we tread between feelings that are appropriate and manageable and those that are skewed or magnified that cause trouble for ourselves and others. We can’t suppress all feelings, we just can acknowledge them and overcome the desire to do something irrational in response to them. As in a lot of meditative practice, we say, “Be the silent witness to your thoughts. “

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      9. oh dear, we seem to delve into this topic very much, I hope I am not bothering you too much. You’re right: feelings are not facts. But I contradict you, because feelings are never unrealistic. In my opinion there is nothing more realistic and pure than feelings. Finding out the cause of these feelings is more difficult and many mistakes or misjudgements may be made here. First and foremost, I’m interested in my perspective, because that’s what I feel. For my way and my plans it would of course be very practical to change perspectives. But that is objectively not possible, because we would have to know other people’s feelings about their perspective. Walk away from conflict, or at least maintain composure in an argument is sometimes not easy, but I think that is a way that everyone is searching for…at least people who are sensitive and want to have peace. Distorted and enlarged feelings arise in my opinion from a conscience despair and damming of feelings. The anger that results from it, I think is often directed against ourself, because you hate yourself for your helplessness, despondency and despondency.
        “to overcome the desire to do something irrational”: Yes, no one wants to do something devastating or irrational, but in distorted and enlarged feelings, the understanding of what is irrational and what is rationally get unfortunately often lost. The world is upside down and so are the thoughts. As you say, feelings are often annoying, but also exactly what makes our life beautiful. There is no moral apostle and no conscience, no mind or anything else what can beat your the feelings: Feelings will always be at the top, I think.
        In this sense I appreciate your saying “Be the silence witness of your thoughts” and slow down your feelings. Let her and you come to rest.

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      10. You are not bothering me at all, Anie. I so enjoy our conversations! It is interesting that you think feelings are never unrealistic. I can see that feelings are pure, but realistic, well no, not always. At least for me, I can have unrealistic thoughts when my imagination gets carried away with me. My mother was even worse in this respect. Her imagination would conjure up all sorts of scenarios, based on what she thought must have happened, and as science is now discovering memory is pliable and is often reconstructed, ever so slightly, with each recall. So her feelings were unrealistic, or at least her thoughts were unrealistic based on feelings that to her were realistic. Ah, now I see what you mean. The feeling is there as a result of the thought, and it is the thought that is unrealistic, perhaps – and the feeling is the consequence. Yes?
        Frustration and more importantly, anger, does indeed result from bottling up feelings and this is fed by the sometimes rational and sometimes irrational thoughts! What do you think?

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      11. Yes exactly, this is what I meant. Feeling are always real, because they are a result of our thoughts. Memories can cause the sweetest feeling if they are mixed up with fantasy and people tend to make the events or people better then it was. But the resulting feeling is real and wonderful, so we get a lucky moment and joy. But never the less, even if I make a person or an event better in my mind as the person or the event is, this means not that I am disappointed to meet this person again or join this event, because there was a reason to do so. And this reason is love and longing. If you love or long for someone or something you normally are not disappointed but exited of everything what happens. Just think of your Baby. My son usually through up after breast- feeding. This is not a very comfortable situation, but even this was no problem because I love him. Frustration and anger is the same in the other direction. This feeling is a result of a relation to a person and what this person did combined with our perhaps irrational thoughts. To control this frustration and anger I always try to tell myself that my thoughts are not real. I just have to look at myself. My behavior at the moment is knowing my feelings, my dreams and the way I want to go not understandable. No one around can understand I think. But for me it is the only way I can handle my situation at the moment, knowing that I am playing on time… so all people are different and not only thoughts are irrational also behavior can be. And this must not be a well thought out plan, it just can be helplessness and hoping for a better future soon.

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      12. And to ad just The scenario, that my construct of my past ( which is of course a mixture of facts, subjective point of view and feelings) is not working out good for me, because important people consider this past completely different. There will be disappointment and a lot of sadness on my side, of course. Frustration and anger will certainly also try to come up. But I know that I always was right with my feelings and just the feelings of the others did not work like mine did. Anger makes never a sense and make situations even worse… well if I have to experience this, my thoughts were irrational.. you are right and than I have to correct my thoughts about the situation and the persons who are concerned… and I have to go another way .

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      13. … and as a small supplement: …; )
        Our feelings often go in different directions. They can cause us a great deal of pain when they are not returned, as in the case of lovesickness, or if they are confused through other disturbing feelings, such as Pity, guilt, etc. The distortion and enlargement of the feelings is often caused by the fact that we wish that the situation clarifies itself faster.

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  3. I think I might agree with Chapelle…, but the Polish one? To my ears, it sounds like you might easily slip in but also easily lose your position there and get thrown out. How you are going to end up is unpredictable. Would love to hear what it really means!

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    1. The Polish proverb is perhaps a little outdated in its language however, the palace is possibly replaced with corporate or political echelons of power, Ann-Christine?

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    2. When ruling with power begins, happiness ends. I think you have to distinguish very hard between work and private. It is mean, but when the heart is conquered, the official path of the professional world no longer has value, no matter how many clauses are built into contracts. Human is and remains an emotional system. It is all the more important to be aware when you do it yourself to help others, to use them actively. And not for personal purposes but because you are convinced of people !!

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      1. Humans are intensely emotional, Anie, – Yes! And because we are not robots, others’ reactions are not always predictable – we can slip on those stairs! We can only hope that if we operate consciously, with a good heart and sincere intentions, it will be appreciated and honoured. Insincerity is detrimental to so many relationships.

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      2. Honesty is the best policy.
        And that can be very difficult, especially if you want to be honest with many people, but do not want tu hurt people. Ultimately, our emotionality is what makes us wobble and doubt and what makes us unpredictable. But it is also what constitutes our life for which we live and experience our happiness. The love and the passion.

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      3. Honesty IS the best policy Anie, as you said. But sometimes there seems to be a need to keep quiet or tell a small white lie, in order to protect another’s feelings or to prevent them from deep embarassment. If someone has made a mistake, but it is not a serious one, do we always have to tell them? Only if the outcome is critical, perhaps? Can we let it slide? If it is of no importance, then perhaps yes. We do not have to be right all the time, do we. And in that is the understanding of our emotionality and our frail ego. Some people can handle a blunt totally honest comment, others are more fragile and will be deeply wounded, emotionally by a straightforward comment about what they might have done wrongly. Small errors will be obvious as time goes on and we do not have to always play teacher and point them out. (I have gone a bit off the track from the original proverb here, but we were discussing emotionality and what makes us wobble, and doubt – our imperfections and our unpredictability. The life and the passion, as you so succinctly pointed out, Anie! Indeed it is.

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      4. Oh yes you are so right, it shows wisdom if someone is able to stay calm… lying is a difficult subject, but on the other hand, there can indeed be things which are just not spoken because nobody needs to know or someone has to be protected…but this is also a thing we have to learn…love&passion..🙂

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      5. Do you think that the ability to discern between when to speak and when to hold back a truth is a learned behaviour, Anie? That is something we acquire through experience, or do some people have this naturally?

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      6. Your question makes me wonder! I would have said of course learned. Just because I lately had to regret so often that I did not hold back… and these are moments I have in mind and remember in similar situations. As you can not trust many people it is much more wiser to hold back more often. But maybe some people have this naturally… maybe they are born with more Skepsis or more sense to control situations…

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    3. Unfortunately, our life does not work without money.I grew up in the happy, albeit naïve, situation that money was never lacking.My parents always provided enough for me and later on I was lucky enough never to have met the lack of money , But I claim to be a frugal person and have always learned to restrict myself. (My parents paid for my studies, but I worked for the weekends and on holidays for clothes, going out and holidays.) Nevertheless, you are right that most people are focused on consumption and monetary value. And how sad are the creatures who are born in wealth and can not experience any joy !!!!! Or those who view wealth as the ultimate goal and do not realize in their eagerness that the ultimate goal is something different and instead poison their environment?
      an altruistic self with a socially anxious component? Ohh, I have to ponder about that, because in fact I myself tend to draw my joy from bringing other happyness.. not only, but to a great extent. Unfortunately I could not see Dave’s comment ??? The sad clown is a picture everyone understands … Masks are being worn more and more today. I have never worn masks in the past. But for a simple reason … I had a very simple life, my job was busy and I was fine. There was no reason to ask questions. The moment you start to study and ask yourself, it can be hard, and when sadness spreads (which is a normal consequence of life and not anger of God) it may be necessary to wear a mask around others and yourself to protect. However, I think it is very important that this mask is not always worn …. People who are close should see, know and love the true person! And yes, I also think that introverted people can show less of their true face. This idea gives me goose bumps, because I rather look on as an extrovert … I like to trust and like to be in company and yet I have such great problems to fight my fear and my shyness … if I am in the position of an extroverted If you think even more, weigh and doubt, it will be really bad for me!

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      1. Anie you have made me realize that extroverts can also be shy. That is something I had not considered before. But I guess extroversion to introversion is a spectrum of sorts, not just one or the other. People are surprised to hear that I consider myself an introvert, but that I am! So perhaps I am more along the spectrum than some others. I think this quality refers more to the energy levels one experiences when being with people. Do others drain or energize you?
        I do agree that masks are worn more today, but less so than in Victorian times. The internet has tried to pull off the masks we wear, but the privacy issues have made many other replace their masks and tie them tightly!!
        Btw, the Dave’s comment i referred to, is the quote I posted in the post itself. Sorry I did not make that too clear, in my previous comment.

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      2. Since there are many qualities that make a person introvert or extrovert, it is only logical for me that there are many mixtures. Even in individual characteristics, humans can be very different. My shyness, e.g. I have when I feel “strange” or in an unfamiliar situation. E.g. I cannot talk in front of strangers and some things I manage only if no one is there, because I can not concentrate otherwise. On the other hand, in the familiar environment with people I know I am very sociable and must rather be careful that my interlocutor also get time to speak. I have never thought about an energy level. That sounds very interessting. In fact, there are people who give the impression that they always attract tons of other people. They are always addressed and are the focus. But often I realize that the quiet people, who are often inconspicuous have so much more to offer than those who are always in the center of attention. ( When you get to know them closer)
        Thanks also for the explanation of who Dave is (it is like this if you forget names already in the moment when you hear or read them …;) …). Will someone become a professional clown to camouflage his sadness? I think every person who stands in public and causes because of his profession certain expectations of people, has a hard time. Because a human being is not just the picture of what we see through his actions. Happiness always comes to a great extent from the people, which you made happy before. This is independent of introvert or extrovert, I think. Yes and I think you are very right, it is “altruistic self with a socially anxious component” … and that can get us into trouble.

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      3. “..a human being is not just the picture of what we see through his actions. Happiness always comes to a great extent from the people, which you made happy before.” This is good, Anie! And it relates in a way to what we were discussing about extroversion versus introversion. Extroverts I think, become energized when they are around other people, some extroverts, as you alluded, might only feel energized when there are around familiar people, whereas introverts can be drained by too much interaction with others, strange or familiar. They need time apart from people to process, reflect and re-energize. I find myself in this camp. I love social activities, they can be strangers or familiar. Sometimes they can be difficult, if they are people who I don’t see as really good friends, say work colleagues…. and it is then that I feel most drained. I feel like my words become stuck and I find it hard to think clearly. It is like a sensory overload and similar to your experience not being able to concentrate in certain situations.
        In this sense, an extrovert might feel more lonely when there are no social engagements than an introvert, who can always find rejuvenation in their own company. I seem to recall Mabel and I have spoken a bit here on my blog and about this in her posts. The public perception is that shy people do not like company, but that is far from true.
        Thanks for a wonderful esoteric discussion!!! 🙂

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  4. A Palace in Poland might well have been a dangerous place to visit in the past. Perhaps that’s were the saying comes from. The aristocracy kept most people impoverished. That is my take on it.

    As for remaining true while in the limelight. We are all actors to a certain degree. We play out most of the time. A truly honest person is probably the one who remains mainly quiet and observes the other.

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    1. I really like it when you comment on these sayings, Gerard. You often give us all a different perspective to think about. I had not considered a truly honest person to be more quiet and observant, but when I think about the quiet people I know, they are really sincere and very trustworthy. They may be quiet but they also exude calm and honesty. Well considered, Gerard. I think also of the aristocracy in the palace if the Polish proverb is to be taken literally. I am sure that there was a lot of brown nosing in any sector of the society below the aristocracy, and more likely than not, there wasn’t many other options for those people. They made a decision to do that, as it was the best chance for them to survive and better themselves given their circumstances – particularly in Poland at the time. We are indeed fortunate to live in times where it is somewhat easier and we have a choice of education as an option to initiate movement up the social and economic ladder. It is worrisome that the education system will slip backward as fees for tertiary education increase.

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  5. Your posts sent me into reflective state. I remember losing a chance some time back in my academics to hit the mark….during the final result. It’s true that every doorstep of the palace is slippery. This quote teaches me to be careful next time…and I think I need to read more quotes from your blog. I feel encouraged.
    That second quote is true as well. Sometimes we feel a bit nervous….especially when everybody is watching . It occurred to me during some high profile interview. I lost narrowly. It’s indeed hard to be yourself when everybody is watching you.

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    1. Thank you Benardchinua for a lovely comment full of encouragement for the Proverbial Friday Post! I think proverbs can teach us so much. After all, so many others have benefited from their wisdom as their words have endured over many centuries. I will be checking out your quote challenge as well and appreciate the nomination.
      Interviews are terribly nerve wracking situations. The best ones I have done are the ones where I have felt that the job was not for me, or that I had little chance at gaining it. This made me more relaxed and less effort was put into trying to impress the interviewee. I think we should prepare for the interview as if it is life and death, but then let it go and relax in the interview, so that you are just chatting in a sincere way with the host.

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      1. Okay. Thank you. I also appreciate your visit and taking the time to comment. I hope you derive a lot of benefits from the proverbs, and, the discussion!! You are very welcome here!

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