Proverbial Friday – Worldly Wisdom

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.


Wherever you go, you can’t get rid of yourself.

~Polish proverb

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

“Mistakes are part of life, everyone makes them, everyone regrets them.

But, some learn from them and some end up making them again.

It’s up to you to decide if you’ll use your mistakes to your advantage.”

~ Meredith Sapp

“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy,

and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life;

they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.”

~ Gretchen Rubin

How do you deal with guilty feelings or guilt manipulation from others?

Are you explaining yourself to others? Or are you your own judge?



22 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Worldly Wisdom”

  1. I’m sort of familiar with the first one but it has a slightly different look. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” It’s the title of a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It’s also a main platform for AA. I learned a whole lot from them by attending Al anon for family members of substance abusers. They talk a lot about doing “geographics” where you think moving away will solve all your problems but the problems follow you because you are the common denominator. There is really no where to run because you are always there. It’s an inside job.

    I learned a good deal about guilt management from them as well. As children, we were bathed and spoon fed guilt daily. I thought it was normal. Everyone used it as a manipulative tool. I worked hard not to model that behavior in my own life. I remember the last time my mother tried it on me. I just looked at her and asked if she wanted a ribbon to go on that package of guilt. She looked at me and grinned one of those “I’m caught” grins and we both laughed. I’ve learned to identify it’s proximity to me and realize I’m the one that allows it. I can then deal accordingly. It serves no one but the narcissist and I no longer participate. I can’t use it as a weapon on anyone else either. Not nice. I don’t need to defend or explain myself anymore. NO is a complete sentence. I could list dozens of examples but I think it’s unnecessary. You already know it’s a manipulative tool. Emotions are your barometer as to what’s going on. If you feel you are being manipulated, then you are. Guilt, most wasted emotion next to worry.


    1. Apologies for the tardy reply. I hope you had a lovely time with your visitors. I am have been away for a short break and have come back to selling up and moving to a smaller place. Lots of stuff has had to be sorted and go to charity. Anyway, so the proverb is similar to something AA use? Well, that makes sense. Definitely you can’t run away and expect the problems won’t follow you or catch you up in your new location. Introspection might be a better approach than seeking an external solution.
      As for following the behaviour example of our parent’s model, I can imagine it took a lot of willpower and determination to not slip into the same pattern of response. Guilt manipulation is an insidious matter, and I admire you for overcoming the desire to rest in your parent’s default mode. It is sometimes very difficult to escape our genetics, but deep thinking and self examination can help us to see the reasons why people did the things they did, and that in turn, helps us to prevent that identical response. I sometimes catch myself voicing a knee jerk response and it is one that I have heard, from parents. When my children challenge me as to what for them seems and unfair and unusual response for me, I sit up and correct myself, apologize and see that manipulative comment for what it is. A poignant learning moment for me. Guilt is certainly a wasted emotion, as is worry. Better to put our energies into problem solving the real stuff, hey Marlene?
      Interesting that you say if you feel that you are being manipulated, you probably are. I am often more self-critical, chiding myself for thinking that, and giving others the benefit of the doubt. But where my husband is concerned, he is totally blind when it comes to manipulation by his own family. He has rose coloured glasses – but only for them, no others!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My sincere apologies for the late reply. As I told Marlene in the comment above, I have been working to prepare and sell my house as well as a short break away, out of reception range for a long reply comment. I am thinking two things in relation to your comment.
      Firstly that it is the classic tall poppy syndrome. Some folks are jealous of others doing well and want to use any weapon they have to make them feel less superior to themselves. They cannot be happy for the success of another person. Jealousy is a very interesting emotion and quite silly if we look at things logically. Not everyone can experience resounding success, yet jealous feelings seek to justify equality of individuals. Life isn’t always fair and even I constantly told my two boys when sibling rivalry reared itself. If a child is never exposed to inequality, would they know jealousy as an emotional response at all? Or would they expect and demand equality in all matters? What do you think, Alejandro?
      The second point I thought of in relation to your comparative saying was that it is good to remember one’s roots, not to become too self-obsessed or self- centred, not let an ego become too inflated, and not forget the important foundations or leg – ups that happened to make us who we are and where we are, today. (Like the J Lo, song: “I am still Jenny from the block” – stay true to yourself, and the values you hold dear; don’t change at the expense of losing yourself or your friendships from the past. To me, this would be most ungrateful and disloyal. It is vital to remember one’s roots!
      Finally,this proverb might also refer to cultural origins – when our heritage means enough to keep alive certain words, ceremonies, rituals, and traditions. In what context do you think your father or, indeed, the Poles intend the comment, Alejandro?


      1. His comment was not demean or minimize the success of others, but rather, to humble those who think their success makes them better than most. It’s meant to remind people that there were others who helped get them where they are; whether it was family, friends, teachers, etc. People often don’t experience success without some degree of love and/or and mentorship from elders or peers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is very true. Few of us are sole achievers. We always have others to help us. Even if family are not emotionally close, we have friendships that provide a lifeblood of support in both tangible and intangible ways. Youer father sounds wise indeed. He knew that the ego could be something that diminished achievement and kindness if left unchecked.


  2. I’m not too sure what to make of the first quote. I’m guessing it means that wherever we go and whatever we do, our deepest and most genuine character will always be a part of us. Maybe we can’t get rid of who we really are. For instance, if someone who was brought up in a certain country speaks like how they’re family speaks, that might be a part of them wherever they travel.

    The irony of mistakes is that if we can learn from them, are they mistakes at all…In life, all of us will make decisions we didn’t want to make – and as a result we might miss out on something or can’t achieve something we really want to achieve. But looking back on these decisions, we can become more determined to try again and go the distance and get to where we want to be with time. That said, we might end up making the same mistakes again if we can’t figure out where we went wrong or are stubborn and believe a certain way will work when it may not.

    Like mistakes, negative emotions are a part of our lives. When we’re feeling down, it’s important to try to figure out why we are feeling that way and what’s causing it, or maybe it’s a sign of a kind of mental illness. Being manipulated is not a nice feeling…in these instances I think it’s best to move away from these people who want to take advantage of you in order to move on.


    1. Apologies for the tardy reply, Mabel. I have outlined the reasons for this in the comment to Marlene and Alejandro, and I am sorry I could not reply sooner. Yes I think you are on to one of the possible interpretations of the proverb, Mabel, and I also feel that whilst it relates to traditions and culture, and yes, perhaps even linguistic origins, that we cannot eliminate, I wonder why I sense an element of embarrassment within the polish proverb’s words, even though outwardly, there is none? Heritage is very important as it is a part of who we are, and why should we dismiss it or hide it? It is something to celebrate. To know our origins and culture from whence we came, is something special, a tie that binds us to our ilk, like an old family community of which we are a silent member. Who would want to forget that, on a personal level.? Many of us are not fortunate enough to know our origins, or they have traditions have been extinguished or at least watered down. Anglo Australian culture is devoid of a lot of traditional rituals so it would be disappointing if our heritage was deliberately buried. To me, one’s origins is something to really celebrate, whatever part of the globe you hail from!!

      Good Advice to move away from manipulative controlling people. They are definitely bad news !

      On Mistakes – it is a strange word isn’t it, as it refers to something bad that can be inherently good if we see it, (as you inferred), as a learning opportunity. When we are children, it is hard for us to see that mistakes are positive opportunities, as the classroom and punitive negative reinforcement makes us want to avoid them at all costs. Then again, do you think that a child that never experiences being told ‘NO’ – might also never experience making any kind of mistake or in a sense, know any kind of boundary, and that might lead to the child having issues fitting in with society in general?


      1. No worries for the delayed response, Amanda. All good. It is interesting to hear about the sense of embarrassment within the Polish proverb. I agree heritage is something important and a part of us and it is what makes us different and unique. Maybe some would rather distance themselves from their heritage for some reason, or ashamed to be associated with someone of the same heritage – it was another part of their lives and it wasn’t a heartwarming experience. I think in general the world is comfortable with each other knowing where we’re from and linking with each other – so as to know the other person next to them isn’t an outlier like an alien.
        I think it is important for children to experience NO, or rather, that they can’t have something or get their way all the time. Not too sure what you mean by saying NO – is it outright telling NO, or suggesting other options by gentling bringing these other options up much more prominently? Of course, cetain times call for us to be more firm with children so that they understand boundaries and not everything falls from the sky. But say if children always had their way. They might grow up thinking they are entitled to a lot of things and perhaps will find it challenging to see another perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You do get what I meant about children, Mabel. Children need some kind of boundaries but also they need nurturing and positive criticism. To focus too much on their mistakes as a learning tool would be foolish and end up destroying their self esteem. Suggesting other options to children instead of a blanket NO without explanation, is a lovely way for kids to begin to learn problemsolving and think of alternatives solutions when the child’s first attempt fails. To sum up, mistakes may enhance learning but only if they are balanced somewhere between negative and positive criticism. If mistakes are framed in this way, a child might grow up feeling more comfortable about admitting any errors he or she makes and dealing more appropriately with the outcome.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. A great selection of quotes. The first is a no-brainer. The second and third are great reminders. Admit your mistakes and try to change, and deal with the negatives in your life.


    1. Simple and sound advice, dear Peggy! Admit your mistakes, and try to change, dealing with the negatives. A mistake is an opportunity for change and growth.


    1. I love that you nominated me, mammablogsalot. Thank you so much. I am afraid that I won’t be able to participate for a while yet, as I am downsizing after 33 years!! Eek… I am also away overseas for a while. So kind of you to mention my blog.


    1. Hi Ju-Lyn, I am just making my way through these older comments that were posted while I was out of mobile range. ( we have terrible internet coverage and speeds in Australia). But anyway, I also have had trouble finding info on Meredith Sapp, other than that quote, and I can’t remember where I found it. It could have been a book I was reading. It really makes us think of mistakes as positive opportunities to change something. I wish I had of known this when I was a young child!!! I was so fearful of making a mistake. How do you view mistakes?


      1. I think I was very fortunate as a child to have parents who, although far from perfect, did not penalise us for making mistakes. I was just talking to a fellow church musician yesterday about a perfectionist attitude towards playing the piano or organ, and how as a child, I was the despair of my piano teacher, because all the scolding & knuckle-rapping only resulted in eye-rolling and not much else.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. To grow up in such a nurturing environment when mistakes where not a curse, is fortunate indeed. Schools and education is often focused on avoiding mistakes, instead of celebrating them as a learning opportunity. She sound like you have grown up with wonderful self esteem. How did the piano lessons work out? Did you continue with them?


          1. In trying to decide what kind of home environment we wanted for our children did I only begin to appreciate what my parents provided for us – the freedom to choose and to fail in there process.

            I have recently taken fun refresher lessons on the piano to play more pop piano – it worked out better this time around!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Pop piano sounds like a lot of fun!! That makes a difference, to learning, I think.
    As teenagers we can go one of two ways, rebel against parental values one grew up with or follow them. Becoming a parent, myself, allowed me to view my parents’ actions in a totally different light. At first, I was very idealistic about parenting and critical if them, but quickly learnt what a difficult, (and rewarding) job raising children can be and this caused me to see parental behaviour in a much more tolerant and appreciative light. Do you think our parents’ contribution to our early life and values becomes much more apparent as we get older, and wiser, Ju-Lyn?


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