Proverbial Friday – Timeless Wisdom

River boats art

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.



A bad dancer blames the hem of her skirt.



You rest the way you have made your bed.


~  Polish Proverbs


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

Something from the Master of Basic Needs, Maslow, for us to ponder over.





“You will either step forward into growth or step back into safety.”

– Maslow





There seems to be an ever – increasing temptation in society to lay blame, as the Polish proverb refers, in the event of something going wrong. We seem to abrogate our responsibility by finding blame, or highlighting those responsible. Can admitting our failures make us appear weak?

An accident can never be as such…..

How are your bed sheets looking? Do you ready to sleep on smooth, orderly bed linen, or bury yourself comfortably in a tangled chaos?

I welcome your thoughts and invite you to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, on your interpretation of the proverb.


And, how do you see Maslow’s quote on safety and growth? 

Can these qualities operate simultaneously or are they oppositional?

Sharing one’s perspective may increase our understanding.


Proverbial sml
Now posting on Fridays


Something to Ponder About on Fridays


13 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Timeless Wisdom”

  1. I’ve been inundated with company so haven’t read or written for weeks. But I’m taking a short break here. I do find these interesting. I parked myself in a safe neighborhood as I live alone and want some freedom to come and go without the added concern for personal or property safety. That leaves my mind and body freer to explore so many more things and expand my bubble in other ways. I get outside my comfort zone with new foods, new friends, new experiences a great deal more when I am not concerned about personal safety.

    How I make my bed affecting my rest is very enlightening as well. That shows that every choice affects everything else in life. If I leave something undone or not smooth, that affects the rest of the day and my nights sleep. A freshly made bed always makes rest sweeter.

    I’ve learned a lot about blame over the years. I’ve leaned over to the school that all choices are mine from the very beginning. I pick the parents that will help set up the challenges I choose to overcome. If you take responsibility from square one, you have no one to blame. It honestly makes life easier. I stopped blaming my parents for all the things they did or didn’t do and just pulled up my boot straps to make my life what I want it to be. I complain so much less as I’ve made all the decisions since I was old enough to think. I am the one responsible for creating the life I live. If I made choices that left me where I didn’t want to be, then it was time for a new choice. I don’t even blame myself. I’m working with what I know this minute. If I left the dress too long and my heel got caught in it that was my choice too. We do what we know so it’s best to keep learning, even at my age. 🙂 Hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend.


    1. Hi Marlene, and thanks ever so much for a well articulated comment. I also think it is important to feel secure in one’s environment so we can concentrate on other things, and this corroborates Maslow’s hierarchy. Blame is an interesting phenomenon and it can be so very destructive. You are fortunate to have realized this at a very tender age. Perhaps in a weird world that could have been considered a small blessing. That you were aware of choice and responsibility. Of course, awareness of one’s own determinable choice and responsibility does not necessarily make life easier, but it does put the self in charge of how the individual person themselves, reacts. This is so vital, I think, in feeling that we have a rudder in life. Life may be chaotic, spontaneous, torpid, and the bed, “a tangled mess,” but if we hold on to the fact there is always our choice of how we interpret and react, we can get some rest! And in that choice, we will of course make mistakes, and they are the universe offering us the chance to learn some kind of lesson! Now it has taken you and I quite a few words to dissect and pull apart what the proverbs say in just a few words. That is why I find them so valuable. No matter what your circumstance, we can relate the proverb to mean something for us and our lives.
      I know you have had a busy week, so i appreciate that you took some time to stop by. Your insights are always valuable. We finally have some rain here, just a little at the moment, which is highly unusual for this time of year, but good for the farmers. Is your season following its normal pattern over your way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are having an early fall as I predicted. I am grateful to see the ‘possibility’ of rain in the forecast. We need it badly. When the asters bloomed on exactly Sept 1 last year, and 3 weeks earlier this year, I knew fall was going to be early. It’s been off kilter all summer.
        I have indeed been fortunate to figure out many things so early. I’m not wealthy in money but I have a family that is very close and love me very much. That’s all the wealth I need. Lack of blame and all the rest have made it easier for others to enjoy my company and seek me out for friendship. It’s been a rich, full life. I live in deep gratitude for all of it. Even the challenges. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The seasons do vary but noticeable aberrations in weather are concerning.
          You are indeed blessed, Marlene and have a good dose of self-awareness that others never fully achieve! I hope I can be half as wise as you are!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been going on for ages. It’s an unwillingness to take personal responsible. To say I made a mistake, or I was wrong, or I made a bad choice. I think back years ago to that woman who sued a big food takeaway when she put a cup of hot coffee between her legs as she drove and it tipped over and burned her. She won! That ridiculous victory was an invitation for people start blaming anyone but themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting thing about Maslow is that his hierarchy is common-sense and probably works most of the time, except with certain people who put that pinnacle ahead of everything else. The typical artist starving in a garret and not even showing his art to others. He doesn’t even want esteem, but simply the satisfaction of meeting his own challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @colonialist Thanks for your thoughts. Definitely a valid point about the starving artist unconcerned with many of the social/economic security needs. In concentrating on his or her own needs (challenges) alone, they become isolated from society’s treadmill. This hits fairly close to home, as I know one family member to which this applies and a few others, I have come across, overt the years. To relate to the proverb, their ‘beds’ are constantly unmade, they lurch from financial crisis to financial/personal crises, yet they seem immune from the pressures that many of us place upon ourselves. Music is their passion, their hope and their outlet. They need not much more. Should we force them to make their bed, because we are uncomfortable with their living situations?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It also shows how often rules are there to be broken. Some people would insist that Maslow’s hierarchy is immutable because it makes such sense; then one notes the exceptions.
        Should compulsively creative people be pitied — or envied?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It all depends on your perspective. I don’t think they should be pitied – after all, many might actually be blissfully happy but still lament not having financial security. I feel sure that creative souls are individuals first and foremost and if they are compulsive or obsessive, this is their way of making sense of their world and controlling their zone. I also tend to think that more often than not, they could be, to some extent, content in this behavior? (A cautious answer!) Otherwise it would surely be a very good motivation to change one’s situation, wouldn’t it? Perhaps even, they might be envied, as they have rid their mind of ther mundane, the routine, the regimentations of life. This leaves their mind free to fully focus on creativity – a wholly pleasurable experience. Where do we draw the line in the sand in pigeonholing folks as successful or water treaders / losers? Everyone’s experienced is so very different.
          Now suddenly, I feel I have no right to make judgements on them, or their inverse hierarchy. Thanks for challenging my beliefs.


  3. Helvi makes my bed and I don’t wear skirts with long hems. That leaves me free to blame lots of other areas for my failures. Only kidding, but you make your own life and choices. Even so, tragedies do happen and it’s how we deal with them that matters. That sounds a bit glib. Just thinking of those terrible tragedies in Syria with children’s bloodied bodies or those on Manus. What choices do they have? It’s the luck of our births that we are not in their situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No getting caught in the hem of your skirt, Gerard? Jokes aside, the luck of our birth does indeed dictate our quality of life in many respects. I have often thought of this and felt I was fortunate to be born in Australia in a time of peace. How does one reconcile a tragedy of birth or circumstance. Perhaps they can not reconcile at all, as they are more concerned with survival? How awful that no one is authority is listening to the voices of concern, and their lack of freedom and choice to determine their lives. What can we do to help?


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