Proverbial Friday – Worldly Wisdom

trickle down

May you taste your words before you spit them out

~ Irish Proverb

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog.

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

Mostly anonymous, proverbs are a portal through time, to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures.

They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and thousands of lives already lived.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

River boats art

“Good people are found, not changed.”

~ Jim Rohn

Good people, the quote says! Who are they? Folks whose values approximate our own? Is having common values the intangible rope that draws us to certain people?

What makes us shy away from those who are different, or conversely, try to change those who think differently, or act differently to us?

Can we ever really know what past events have shaped an individual’s attitude or values? Even if those values clash with our own, is it still possible to learn something about them, if we can only set aside our prejudices?

Our lives might be richer for being more open.

How can we grow on a personal level, if we stick to just the “good” people and seek a monogamy of values?


Every Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying, as well as a Quote that I find thought-provoking. I invite you to join the discussion by leaving a comment on your own particular interpretation of the proverb.

Everyone’s opinion is important.

Sharing our perspectives increases the possibility for increased understanding.

What do you want to say?

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on

Proverbial Friday – Something serious to Ponder About


43 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Worldly Wisdom”

    1. Thanks for your astute comment, Christine. Indeed, I think the Irish were warning against words hastil uttered, and also said in anger and later regretted. I like the way they framed the proverb. It really makes one choose one’s words carefully. ‘Tasting’ makes me think the proverb promotes empathy and consideration for others. If you wish to use these words on someone, you really should know full well exactly how they feel. What sageful advice. Many an argument might be avoided if we practiced this. Have you heard of this proverb before?


    1. Indeed it is not easy, Jo. You absolutely have that right. Perhaps we can never really see things from someone else’s viewpoint in a total sense, as our experience is totally different from theirs. But we can try, as you said. It is very good to try. We learn much in the process of trying. Are you out walking this weekend, Jo?


      1. Mildly exhausted this weekend, Amanda. 🙂 🙂 We’ve been running around with a 5 year old the last couple of days and we have a house viewing in 10 minutes. Chilling after that!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “May you taste your words before spit them out “ is very very vital knowledge. It should be followed like a next religion, often it’s because of the tongue most relationship soars 😞 & so many unwanted dramas arise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only everyone could or would follow this, Lust4words. But self- control is not always attainable for everyone, all of the time. We all have our weaknesses. The tongue does get us into trouble much of the time. Our tongues engage seconds or even minutes before our brain does! If we did declare it a religion, perhaps more people might try to heed the proverb, or at least follow it and speak only positive words.
      Thanks for visiting my blog. Btw, I love your intro on your blog. Have you been blogging for long?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your kind words. I like reading your blog because I feel you have earned good experiences in life:)
        WRT my blogging , well I am an Engineer by graduation 👩🏻‍🎓 who had a bit of struggle to follow between my passion & my degree. As of now I’m juggling , though I haven’t been active , whenever I feel that I need to put my writing online, I do 🙂 Maybe I should be bit more proactive.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am very pleased to know that you appreciate my blog! That is a huge compliment so thank you, Lust4words. Life is often a juggle, especially with a family! Sometimes that creates a pressure on ourselves and we must remember to find out priorities and stick with them for the present moment. We can get back to the rest of our life in due course. It will be there waiting for us when life is ready. I look forward to reading more posts from you. For me, writing is a great cathartic release. Is writing your passion?


          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s true😊😊For me writing is venting out my emotions, a deed to keep me occupied & a medium to share my bit of knowledge. So of course that encapsulates it into passion 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  2. The Irish proverb is a bit of wisdom everyone needs to know and understand. Posting it beneath that meme photo of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and members of his cabinet is appropriate, considering the madness we’re dealing with now over here. I won’t get into the trickery of “trickle down” economics theory. But I personally find it frustrating we now have a national leader who doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of thinking before speaking (or tweeting).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alejandro, it might shock you to find we had a recent national treasurer who still advocated truckle down economics. His advisors must have been reared in the stone age!! I know only enough of it in relation to the stagnation of the developing world at the cost of the western countries and that it failed of course, but then you did ask me not to talk of on that matter so I will stick to the proverb. It is not a coincidence that you made thr connection between politician in office today and the proverb. Politicians, especially prominent ones are surpringly tactless at the moment. Perhaps this is because the business model of economics had infiltrated the government system to the extent we have public servants ie. politicians, (who are employed by the people), acting like they are running a business, rather than a government. It is doomed to failure. Our state had a miserable time a few years back with a similar leader. He did massive damage to the mechanisms of government in his 3 years and we are still feeling the after effects 5 years later. To get back to the connection with the proverb, speaking your mind and bullying behavior may work in the business model, at least for a while, but the public expect more from a political representative who they may have voted in. As an elected representative a politician is under way more pressure from public opinion, the most fickle of which is intense public scrutiny of one’s words, we have expectations of accountability and like to see statesmen like qualities in leaders. Woe betide those who fail to grasp this! This is the life lesson they are yet to learn, (ultimately, at our expense).


  3. Very interesting proverbs, Amanda. I like the idea of the first one. Kind of chew on those words and make sure they have a sweet taste before you spit them out at someone. Usually, some of that spital flies back at you so it’s best to make sure it’s not filled with a bitter taste. I’ve learned to not speak unkind words. They carry a lot of weight.

    Good people are good of their own choosing. I once asked a friend how to get my stepson to do the right thing and behave in an appropriate way. She told me you can’t make someone be good, you can only try to make them want to be good. It was a lost cause already and another battle of rolling the boulder uphill only to have it roll back down on me, so I had to let it go and be what it was. Being a good and kind person is a choice you make over and over every day and you can’t be changed into one unless you make that decision. I agree that people with different values and ideas can both be good people from their perspective. That means that we have to make a lot of room void of judgement for kindness in different ways. It’s our judgement that gets in the way of our happiness.


    1. Thank you Marlene! Some of that spital flies back so make sure it tastes sweet. Chew on it first. Sometimes many of us are tempted to seek revenge by throwing back a caustic comment, or at least, be seen to be asserting, or standing up for ourselves by responding in a negative or aggressive way. We feel better in that instant, as we have counteracted that feeling one gets when a criticism is leveled at us, or where we perceive a criticism has been leveled at us. We sometimes feel we have to “put them in their place,” as our grandparents may have said. I think it is sad that we don’t learn how to assert ourselves in a way that doesn’t put down others. The proverb tries in general to encourage empathy, but it also could tell us more. Things like, respecting other’s opinion whilst articulating one’s own: “I have respect for your opinion but mine is a little different, I can see that is what you think but my experience is a little different….etc ( agreeing to disagree). A caustic comment that has not been “tasted,” prior to being spoken is really like that person saying, ‘I am okay and you are not!’
      It is far better to focus on ideas/different experiences or opinions rather than right and wrong in discussions.
      “Unkind words carry a lot of weight.” – another gem from Marlene! That is a great reminder that has multiple layers of interpretations. I am saving that one in my journal!!
      I also will comment on the second part of your comment, regarding the quote, in a separate comment! Very worthy topics of discussion. I enjoy reading your comments but do not always respond immediately as I prefer to have time to digest and think about the many wise things you say. More later.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Marlene: I now have a few moments to respond to your excellent comment, re good people and judgement getting in the way of our happiness!
      Good people firstly is such a judgemental term, isn’t it? What defines good? It varies so much between individuals and cultures. You say it’s a choice, for some. Your stepson had his own agenda and perhaps his own demons for acting in the way that pushed him in whatever direction he went. If one person disagrees strongly with another and then tries to advocate or induce change, the personal and emotional toll, it takes on both, is sometimes too much and both suffer. Nevertheless, many of us still try desperately to change others, but in reality we are really wishing and trying to make our own lives easier. Do these attempts make life any easier or more complicated?
      We don’t always have to agree with an other’s life choices, but accepting that it IS inherently their choice, goes a long way towards promoting harmony. If the other person is hell bent on self-destruction, we can only sit on the sidelines and encourage them to consider other perspectives; be a role model for them, or perhaps offer gentle questioning about their level of satisfaction or life goals, perhaps offering some imagined potential path for their future, ( I can see you doing well in….. ), all the while sticking firm in our knowledge that this is a journey they must take in their own emotional self-development. It may worry us sick, but as long as it doesn’t interfere directly with our own life, it is much easier to accept their choices from a distance. Does anyone really learn from an authoritarian agenda, imposed upon them, without their consent? I think it just gets people’s backs up and creates resistance.
      Then, I think about whether being “good” is indicative of one’s underlying morals or their behaviour or a combination of both. Do their choices harm themselves or others? Do they have empathy for others? Are they inherently kind or disregarding? I think marlene, you were very wise when you said that you had to let it go and have it, “ what it was.”
      How one does actually define or interpret “good.” is so different from person to person. Everyone will judge others differently, and whilst I personally find it extremely difficult not to judgmental of other people,, (for I am naturally curious and analytical), I try to balance that and follow up by being as open and accepting as I can. That kind of counteracts the negative aspect of judging.
      I observe, notice, inwardly comment, but then accept and let go.
      In this way I feel I am honoring or respecting the person’s rights, saying: “you have the right to be as you choose, and that is okay with me, as long as it isn’t at my personal expense.” Of course I am speaking of emotional words and actions here, for physical violence, is completely unacceptable as is anything that is intended to harm the other person. Words have barbs if you let them, but it is up to us how we interpret those barbs.
      If someone criticizes you, we can shrug it off, dismiss it, ignore it, rationalize it, or understand its underlying agenda. In any of these ways we can encourage space and openness, distance ourselves from the pain of criticism, and maintain dignity for both people involved.
      There are learning moments for both sides. If we all had the same values or opinions, there would be no personal growth or development. Our emotional status would stagnate. What a strange world that would be!

      When we really want others to change, we are really saying we want our lives to be easier in some way. It comes down to a selfish wish!!! For in reality, we can never really control others, we can only control ourselves. So if a person has a hard time accepting the other’s behaviour or actions, the problem really is more to do with their own mental acceptance of the other. An individual cannot change other people’s thoughts or behaviours, but CAN change one’s own. Our thinking IS sometimes the only thing under our full control. Own this yourself and realize that is something you CAN change and work on.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, Gerard. In order to really hear and value what the other person had to say, we need to stay silent and listen. Staying silent is also good in the face of anger, as there is no point saying anything until the angry person calms down.


  4. Hi there Amanda! How are you? Long time! 🙂 Interesting thoughts here… I think we stick to the people we have “weeded out” because it makes life easier. Constant debate may feel tiring to many, myself included. But you make a good point! If we live in a bubble with only similar values and opinions, how can we expand our views? Do we even want to? In a workplace, for instance, I think it’s important that not all employees are homogenous – that way they can complement each other’s skills and temperaments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Snow! So lovely to hear from you! Debating is absolutely tiring and one who has had enough of that, acquiesces, rather than accepts! I think there is a subtle difference there. The one who acquiesces may summon enough energy at a later date to start the debate or finally, ‘blow their top.’ Acceptance seems more final, that you have come to a understanding, a rationalization of differing viewpoints and that is okay.
      Having said that, I can fully understand the need to step back and avoid any debate, and in these way we are selective of friends and companions. We see more of those who make life easier! That is so natural! However, in terms of the workplace, we don’t have that choice, unless we are the manager! When I read your comment, it reminded me of a report I had seen about recruitment processes in the modern technological age. There were concerns that the computerized vetting of C.V.s meant that companies were increasingly becoming filled with similar people, with similar attitudes. ideals and thoughts. Multiply this by decades, and you have a compliant and perhaps a little dull workforce who are not inclined to think differently, or out of the box, so to speak. Whilst a diverse range of opinions is more tricky, it might be more successful and healthy in the long run, albeit tiring and challenging!! We are naturally draw to people who we feel are of our own ilk. It does make life easier, but is it always better? Whilst I feel it is extremely important for partners,(romantic or business), to have similar values, what if any possible implications could we draw from the suggestion that homogeneity of thoughts/choices is not as desirable, in regard to our friendship or relationship circle? What do you think?

      Such an interesting thought, Snow. Thanks indeed for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you only interact with people of your own kind and of the same opinions, that might lead to prejudice against others, since you don’t personally know anyone who has a different religion/is atheist, has a different native langauge or a different economical background, for instance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes it would seem that isolation of culture/thought/opinion/language/religion etc could indeed fuel prejudice of those who are different, in a micro or macro setting. This prejudice has its origin in fear. Fear of those who are different from ourselves in some way. Integrating disability, multi-racial, multicultural, marginal socio-economic and even gender fluid ideas into education has, I think, been instrumental in a wider acceptance of differences, in younger people. This might be due in part to understanding, familiarity and exposure.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I am really glad you stopped by. And as you might guess, by my lengthy responses, I also enjoy this kind of discussion!! Have a lovely week. Has the longest summer in Finland finished yet?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Yes, we had summer weather in May for about 3 weeks and then the same in July. Yippee! Now it’s already colder, 13C in the mornings and super windy, like you were at sea! But Helsinki is a seaside town so wind is to be expected! My boys might become sailors, getting used to this crazy wind at such a young age, who knows! 😂 Enjoy your week, Amanda! What are you up to?


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