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.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

– Israeli Proverb


In the chilly southern hemispheric temperatures with gardens lying dormant, the following quotes seemed apt:

Time isn’t something you can turn back.

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

– Veronica A. Shoffstall

Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.

– Ram Dass, Philosopher

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves. 

– Bohemian Austrian Poet and Novelist, Rainer Maria Rilke

Time – less flowers!

What do you make of this week’s words? Do you have an opinion?

Are the questions more important than the answers?

Are you really holding on to your unworthiness?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.



32 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom”

  1. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul – love this!

    On a similar note…
    “Happiness will grow if you plant the seeds of love in the garden of hope with compassion and care.”
    ― Debasish Mridha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “With compassion and care.”
      Two very important qualities. Practicing at least these two characteristics every day can create a beautiful mindset perfect for establishment of a wonderful ‘garden.’
      Can you imagine what kind of world we COULD live in , if everyone cultivated these two values, Karen?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am sorry to hear that in your recent past, Karen. But those folk have not yet fully understood how beneficial compassion can be. They deprive themselves of the peace it can bring to their soul! This moment has passed and you must focus is better placed on this moment and looking forward. All the while, you can model to them the power of compassion in one ‘s daily life.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I especially like Veronica’s quote/quotes. I assume they are two separate quotes. In spite of being unable to turn back time, I have been able to lose the weight I gained over the last 10 years! 🙂


    1. Two separate quotes but connected, I feel, Peggy. Fantastic that you have been able to shed the weight. What have to done that has initiated the change?


  3. I noticed this post was tagged with ‘mental health’, so I am thinking along those lines in response to these days. The first quote got me wondering what’s the difference between heart and spirit. I suppose ‘heart’ can be how we feel – sometimes we can trick ourselves into feeling positive when we aren’t so as to get on with our day and life. Perhaps spirit is a combination of that, our resilience, and maybe also the way we carry ourselves. When it comes to a crushed spirit, maybe we find it hard to have a purpose – it’s more than just feeling lost.
    On the second quote: We all have time. We all have a choice to be organised and to work towards our goals or what we want. Some circumstances might mean we can’t, but we can always make time at some point, even if it’s making some time somewhere in the not-so-near future.
    Third and fourth quote: Patience is a skill that we all need. Many things we want won’t happen overnight. It’s up to us to reflect on where we are at, accept ourselves and what we got and can do, and then plan for the days ahead, and then move ahead. Loving the now is so important. I think we all feel unworthiness as some point – like we are not good enough for the world or ourselves. These moments often come from insecurity and perhaps constantly comparing ourselves with others. Someone with mental health issues might feel this more than the average person…patience really needs to come into play here not just from within the person but others around as well to move ahead.
    That last shot…looks like that’s near King’s Domain in Melbourne…


    1. Yes the flower garden is from Melbourne! You know your town well, Mabel. But so also, was the heart picture! A lovely public display of leaf graffiti, I happened upon, one summer in Melbourne!
      You raise a good point, the difference between heart and spirit. The spirit is more ethereal and intangible, something I feel that is inside all of us; a combination of our thinking (head), and our emotions, (heart). There again, troubling emotions in a person, are often felt in the gut region, and not surprisingly, the gut biome is now the focus of scientific research into the gut biome’s role in causing depression and mental illness. We may also say, ‘follow your gut instinct.’ All these things are tied up in the overall concept of spirit and thus as it relates to our overall ‘self concept’. I do think our mental health is deeply connected. A crushed spirit to me, describes someone who has lost the ability to bounce back from crises, temporarily or more permanently. This might arise from external or internal forces, but to the person, the problem appears insurmountable, and without a good solution. In the event no solution is to be found, the person has no choice but to find another way to process the event/crises/feeling, so that they can slowly develop in their mind, a point of acceptance of the problem. One rationalized in their head, their spirits might appear to improve and they can feel joy once more. I am reminded of the saying which I may have stated before, so forgive me if I am repeating myself: Happiness is not a life without problems, but one where there are problems, but one has the strength to overcome, solve, (and cope) with them. I will say more on the last quotes later.


      1. I’ve seen that heart before on the waterwall beside Collins Square in the city. Not sure if that’s wall there anymore due to construction of a new train station right there.

        That’s a good distinction between heart and spirit, and spirit is more ethereal and intangible. Sometimes emotions can be caused by actions, mind and heart, maybe even spirit – and it’s all intertwined. You mentioned when there is no solution, someone needs to just accept the outcome. In a way that’s solution, or in a way a means to an end. Challenges will always be a part of life. Unlike the quote, I think happiness comes more from acceptance and not expecting much from the bigger picture.


        1. I agree. A solution might just be to accept the outcome, whatever that may be, Mabel. Funny, I heard the radio commentator speaking about people who always want a solution, or answer to a problem. She lamented that politicians or authorities, might say, ” Well, what is the answer?” – She found this ‘annoying’ in her words. She thought that there are so many things in life that don’t have a straightforward solution. They might require coming at them from different ways, re-thinking the whole concepts, but more often it is a question of finding the right response, rather than the right, or any solution!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. On patience: To pose a similar question to the one that you reflected on, Mabel,I ask: where does impatience arise from? Is it pressure we place upon ourselves? Frustration over time constraints needed to achieve our goals? Or concern over potential ramifications or consequences? There is also impatience with others’ agendas, or pace. They move and operate at different rates or in different styles to our own. Being patient towards all issues was presumably advocated by Rilke, but in particular in this quote, he was referring to patience in unsolved issues in one’s heart and to try to love/?live the questions, rather than the answers. What could he mean? It is difficult to decipher, so I researched patience a little, or rather impatience! Impatience is defined as wanting some goal or something outside of what exists or is presented to you, in a given moment of time. And frustration that the moment is not changing, of “being stuck in the present moment’s activity when the most important thing in life lies in the future, being unable to do all that needs doing.” But change life does, as does the moment, for it rarely stays exactly the same and everything does pass, of course, some things only, in their own time. Self-awareness and self-enquiry about the underlying fear that triggers the impatience, might just enable us to let that feeling of impatience go, in that it may help us to accept the limitations that time places upon us, or helping us to let a goal slide. What do we fear would happen if we don’t get everything done and out of the way? What are we afraid of? Can I/we let this go? Could Rilke be encouraging addressing that feeling of impatience through self-enquiry, when he said, “to love the questions?”


      1. I think impatience comes from a multitude of places. As you said, could be the pressure we put on ourselves, or the fact we don’t seem to be getting anywhere with what we do. Or that we aren’t happy at the things that we can’t control. Maybe it’s a mind over matter thing. Being stuck can be frustrating because at the end of the day many of us want to learn, move along and achieve something. Sometimes I feel that way with my book, but I’ve also come to the mindset that it’s okay if I don’t get it published and it may probably never happen. Some of us are afraid of letting ourselves down, others fear others will judge them if they don’t achieve something (partly due to ego).
        To love the questions, I interpret that as to be present in the process, to find something to take away from it.


        1. Spot on with your interpretation of “loving the question,” – I think! From what I gather, that is exactly what Rilke was persuading us to do.
          I am sorry to hear that you are despondent about not getting published, as it must be terrible disheartening given your effort, your passion to be heard, and that unfulfilled promise you have with yourself, to reach that goal and feel that sense of achievement. But it sounds like you are starting to reconcile it in your own mind, and I don’t think anyone could ever accuse anyone, who TRIED, of being a failure. Failure to me, would constitute not even attempting to try! You have completing writing this book, so you have already achieved something great! In this way, it is hard to see how you could feel you have let yourself down. IF you had not completed the book, there might be a valid point, but whether your book is published or not, is outside of your control. I knew an author that was constantly knocked back time and again, and after many many knockbacks, approached a published overseas who then not only accepted her manuscript, but asked for 2 sequels on top of the original. One never knows! Don’t give up.


          1. I think what you said ties to your other comment – about the ‘solution’ simply being accepting the outcome or looking at things from a different perspective. It is sort of like dealing with mental illness: it can’t be cured, there is no ‘long term’ foolproof solution for it to never come back, but we have to train our minds to see life a different way.
            Trying is something not all of us have the heart to do. If we have passion, we will try. I am still writing the book (after draft 1) which is already an achievement in itself. Thanks, Amanda. I hope you received the comment or email I sent you earlier. Not sure if I replied correctly lol.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kerry! I think many of us are far too hard on ourselves. There is a culture that existed where I was growing up that a child should be seen and not heard. Very Victorian to say the least. This value, while very outdated, leaves an impression of unworthiness on the child. The child senses a lack of rights, and of being inferior. Whilst no one likes the child who has an inflated sense of self importance, it is important to engender a sense of respect for the child’s rights, as well as respect by the child for the parent. This can be done without crushing the child’s spirit. But the quote really focuses on how much currency we give those thoughts of unworthiness. In that, I love that it reminds me not to dwell on this, nor on past mistakes, and encourages a gentle acceptance of the past with an optimistic look at the future. Isn’t it amazing that a few succinct words can bring about self – awareness and potentially spark conscious change?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can hear my Nana saying little girls should be seen and not heard but she usually said it with a twinkle in her eye. My mother could be horribly critical especially when drunk and those comments will resonate for ever. I do try to be kind to people remembering how much comments can sting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh that is a sad memory for you of your mother’s remarks, Kerry. As anger can often stem from fear, I wonder if your Mum had some underlying fears that only appeared when she lost her better judgement of disregarding such rubbish, such a happens when folk are intoxicated. I also remember stinging comments from people, who were generally very unhappy people in themselves. These folk appeared to shift their unhappiness by blaming/ putting down others so that they might deflect from considering their own dissatisfaction. Recognizing this helped me to distance myself from the hurt of their comments and move on from dwelling about them, as dwelling about them feeds insecurity and those feelings of unworthiness.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m late again. Having a hard time keeping up these days but wanted to drop by anyway. Love this Proverb.
    “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”– Israeli Proverb I know all about both ends of this quote. Every time someone tries to crush your spirit a little part of you dies. It will affect your physiology in the opposite way that a cheerful heart can.
    Time isn’t something you can turn back. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.– Veronica A. Shoffstall
    I used to wait for someone to tell my I was a good person and be kind to me. Now I have a sign on my refrigerator that says “be kind to yourself” It’s a handwritten note to myself. I do things that make my life happy and beautiful instead of expecting someone else to do that. I couldn’t go back and hope that someone would love me, had to do that for myself.
    Ram Dass has been a favorite for many, many years. We accomplish nothing is we hold on to unworthiness. Just sit and feel sorry for ourselves which is a giant waste of time.
    Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.– Ram Dass, Philosopher
    I’ve never heard of this quote before either but I like it. I guess if you are asking the questions, you are already on the right path even though you don’t have the answers. Asking lots of questions these days.
    Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.
    – Bohemian Austrian Poet and Novelist, Rainer Maria Rilke
    Thanks for sharing all of these interesting quotes, Amanda. Gives me something to think about as I start my day. Have a wonderfilled week ahead, Marlene 🙂


    1. Hi Marlene! Many thanks for your comment, which is always very welcome, late or not. I can imagine the hand written note on your fridge door. A great place to put it – that daily reminder must really help engender positive vibes in your house. Your knowledge of quotes and their meaning always astounds me, and you are so familiar with many that are entirely new to me. It is a big compliment to me that you spend time pondering the quotes that I post. It means a lot!
      I recently read in relation to mental health and depression that it does noone any good to sit and feel sorry for ourself. life is not about that. Life is more about forgiveness, acceptance and moving forward to what makes you better and stronger in the long run. We are responsible for our own thinking and perceptions and by association – happiness. For it is our perceptions, interpretations of, and later, thinking about past events, which influences our feelings. You are one of the enlightened ones that has seen that it is important to love yourself by planting your own garden!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your kind words, Amanda. I’ve just been around much longer than you and had time to learn a few things. I love being an old crone. 😉 I’ve always believed we need to feel our feelings fully and self pity is no exception. Everyone gets 10 minutes on the pity pot, after that, you bum turns to ice and you have to move on. 🙂 Feelings noted, time to move forward. I don’t think we can be kind or love others if we skip ourselves. It’s like the old airline routine. Put your mask on first then your loved ones. It has to be that way or we all die. Worked so far.


        1. You have given me a couple of new sayings right there, Marlene! I am writing down the one about the pity pot in my journal!! And the oxygen mask analogy elucidate well just what I often want to say in the comments. Feed your soul first, (but not at the expense of others), so that you may help others feed their souls.

          Liked by 1 person

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