Community

Worldly Wisdom

 No one can climb a tree with no branches

– Finnish proverb

Helsinki
Birch Trees in Helsinki, Finland

What do you think the underlying message says. Does it refer to the support of friends and family that folk find so essential to personal growth and development?

Or, could it refer to the many divergent paths one might consider, or does take throughout life, before we reach our ultimate destination or end goal?

proverbial-thurs

I often find there is 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.

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Nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a smile that has struggled through the tears

~ Demi Lovato (Actress and Singer Song-writer)

smile www.cuded.com
Source Credit: http://www.cuded.com

This theme of this week’s  quotes is power, not raw power, but rather that power of the self, as an entity, that power we find within ourselves.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful

you will be

~ Bruce Lee

Bruce lee

We have nothing to lose by trusting the infinite power

of the Self, except the bondage of our own ignorance

~ Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

smartphone
First World Problems

And finally there are these words:

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now.

How?

By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.   Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

–Dale Carnegie

Linking to Friendly Friday’s Smiles Challenge

Sharing one’s perspective increases understanding.

cropped-stpa1.jpg

blogging, Philosophy

The Value of Life and Possessions

Weekly Quote

Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves, according to Wikipedia

When I was young, I don’t think I was such a compassionate person. I think I may have been caring and kind, but I do not think I was truly compassionate.

I did not go out of my way, nor did I always take the time to remember the details of others’ lives. I came to realize this was important and meant a lot, when someone takes a moment to enquire how they are faring.

Animals have the ability to teach compassion to anyone.

Possessions

We are possessed by the things we possess. When I like an object, I always give it to someone. It isn’t generosity-it’s only because I want others to be enslaved by objects, not me. Jean-Paul Sartre

http://www.azquotes.com/author/13003-Jean_Paul_Sartre

Satre may have been considered to be selfish to want others to be enslaved by beautiful things. This could even have been considered as lacking in compassion.

Or, did he think that others would be less bothered by the entrapment and possession of objects to the same extent that he was?

Existential thoughts

What is your relationship with the objects you possess?

Do you jealously guard treasured possessions or give them away if they are no longer useful to you, regardless of their value?

Why is it we want to accumulate so many material objects in our lives, knowing that we cannot take them with us when we are done?

Do you think Simone de Beauvoir’s quote is valid?

Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.

sun rising over water at the baech
Philosophy

Ways to Improve Life during the Year of Covid

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless, diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Robert F. Kennedy
water
The ripples that might build a current

Are you wanting to find more peace and contentment in your life, in this the year of instability?

Giving and assisting others is one way in which you can make people’s lives better and simultaneously feel a sense of satisfaction, achievement and contentment.

If you want to make a difference in your own world, start with the world around you.

If making a difference, all at once, seems a too tall an order or impossible for you, or the process of trying too stressful, consider that we can instantly make a difference, fairly easily. 

Start by focusing on one person at a time – maybe that is the person closest to you.

When we don’t have time or cannot visit elderly relatives or neighbours because of work or Covid constraints, or even personal inclination – (a lack of interesting conversation), a small note, text message or phone call will always be welcomed by them.

Spread loving thoughts to cherished ones.

It is all too easy to assume family members are going to be there for us and thus, we might forget to make any kind of effort towards them. Ironically, those relationships are the ones we often need to nurture the most.

5 Easy Ways to Improve Humanity

  • Pay it forward – pay for the next person’s coffee in the queue, without expecting anything in return.
  • Donate to a charity something that you value – something that might bring joy to someone in unfortunate circumstances.
  • Give a homeless person, a home-baked treat or a fresh meal, a warm coat or bag of toiletries.
  • Help out at an animal shelter for a day or a week. Animals are incredible healers of the human spirit.
  • Smile at each person you met in a genuine time considered way – (being cognizant of cultural and social norms).

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

You do not need to convince anyone, only yourself.

Break Down Goals into Smaller Pieces

Always useful is the tip to break down seemingly impossible tasks or goals into baby steps, and work steadily towards your goal. This is a great life skill and a way to move forward when negative feelings overwhelm us.

happy smile-beach

If you make one person smile, or laugh, even just for a moment, their smile just might make others smile too.  In this subtle way, you can touch the masses with thoughtfulness.

Aim to make a bunch of small splashes, and let the ripples spread naturally. 

If you want to change another person’s mind or mood, you might have to change a little of yourself, at first and then work on enhancing the environment and the people around you.

Trondheim
blogging, Mental Health, Philosophy

Kindness – An Antidote to Self Criticism

“The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.”

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In the wake of #Black Lives Matter, some folk appear inclined to believe that being strong is a way to win respect, when it is just a way to promulgate fear.

They may have mistakenly learnt that in being strong they achieve more, or receive more. Does being strong ever bring happiness and contentment?

The two just don’t seem to go hand in hand.

Does a staunch or rigid boss even win respect from his workers by being hard-core? Or they do live in fear of disappointing him? Does a hard-line leader win support through negativity or merely decrease morale?

If a boss shows too much kindness in the workplace, do they feel they are a push-over?

Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing resentment of any kind is not on the path to happiness.

Unknown

Weekly Proverb

Self – Criticism

We may be in the habit of berating or criticising ourselves for perceived shortcomings, constantly putting our own needs last, or inadvertantly disallowing ourselves the time, space and patience we deeply need to rest, heal and, ultimately to feel more content. In short, we are unwittingly being unkind to ourselves.

We may be our harshest critic; it may have become second nature to criticise ourselves and very challenging to praise and comfort ourselves or others.

But we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Kindness can fortify life, and seeing ourselves and others through a kinder lens can make a world of difference to all.

Regular practice of kind words and actions is infectious and it might just be the highest real success we achieve in this life. And it needn’t cost a thing.

Ultimately it is up to us as the sole creator of our thoughts.

Do you think you will appear weak if you show kindness to others?

Would it feel indulgent or selfish to show kindness to yourself?

Is there a time when you must display strength, without kindness, to survive?

Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Community, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Contentment

Bättre en fågel i handen än tio i skogen.

Better a bird in hand then 10 in the forest.

Swedish Proverb
bird

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”

― Oprah Winfrey

Are you constantly seeking contentment?

Marc and Angel stated that there are two variations of contentment in life – fleeting and enduring. 

“The fleeting type is derived from instants of material comfort, while the enduring type is attained through the gradual growth of your mind.  At a glimpse it might be difficult to decipher one from the other, but as time rolls on it becomes vividly obvious that the latter is far superior.

Enduring contentment sustains itself through life’s ups and downs, because through them your mind remains confident and at peace.  On the other hand, when life’s fleeting changes have the ability to ruffle your mind into a frenzy, even the most elaborate physical comforts won’t make you any happier for very long. “

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”

― Immanuel Kant

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog, which morphed into Sunday Sayings.
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.
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.

Something to Ponder About this sunday.

reflection
Community, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – A Bad Day

Knowing your own darkness, is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people

– Carl Jung

Are You Having a Bad Day?

Recently a family member had a bad day. A really bad day.

Everyone has them.

Some are worse than others.

No matter how bad it becomes, a bad day is just a bad day, it is not a sentence. 

It’s painful for the person going through the mental pain and suffering of a bad day and can be equally as difficult for those supporting them. Unlike a physical injury or ailment, there may be no visible cause that is obvious to others. Some folks are driven to extreme actions to stem their mental anguish.

Bad times or adversity affect us and our mood. People do bad, hurtful things to others.

We have no control over what other people do. 

We CAN, however, decide not to let it affect who we are and where you’re headed, as this Native American proverb infers:

You cannot prevent the birds of sadness passing over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest of your hair.

Native American Proverb

What We Can Do

  • Keep in mind that every bad day passes. What’s done is done and is in the past.
  • Acknowlege the setback and make adjustments to it.
  • Do not dwell and re-play the events over and over in your head, for this makes them a bigger part of your life.
  • Do not make it anything more than a bad day. 
  • Events may be terrible and inescapable at times, but you always have choice – if not when, then how, to proceed onward.
you always have choice – if not when, then how, to proceed onward.
You always have choice – if not when, then how, to proceed onward.

There is always a way to take the next step forward on the path you’ve chosen.  Be that minor or major. There are always options, always something you CAN choose to do.

This is where to direct your focus.

Early morning sunrise photography

Every day brings the prospect of new hope and new possibilities.

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.

Sunday Sayings give us Something to Ponder About

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Kindness

Throughout our lives, we constantly hear sageful advice such as:

“Treat one another as you would like to be treated yourself “– That wise old Confucian saying of “Do Unto Others as You would have Done Unto You.”

We hear this, we know this, well most of us implicitly know this, yet often despite this, ego takes over. People might become selfish, or narcissistic, or begin to look-out, only for themselves.

Why?

Are they tired, fed up, or have been taken advantage of?

Snow m-quote

A kind word can have a powerful effect on a stranger, but also for a loved one.

With immediate family, it is often the case that we reveal our true selves, completely unmasked when we are relaxed and comfortable. Some people might border on apathy in the presence of loved ones and let manners fall by the wayside. So sure are they of unconditional acceptance in that herd or group.

However in a workplace, decorum, tact, judgement and professionality is valued and countenanced.

We might hold back from our true thoughts and selves in a workplace.

In doing so, are we still being kind?

By being grateful,

a man makes himself deserving

of yet another kindness.

~ Nigerian Proverb

If holding back in a workplace is the way to be kind, to save our colleague’s feelings, then that must mean if we are honest and speak what we think, within a family setting, we must therefore be unkind and hurtful? Yet in that aura of unconditional love, we are accepted and loved despite our comments. Comments that would be hurtful in other circumstances.

Weekly Proverb

proverb

When confronting a family member who has unleashed ‘brutal honesty’, on someone close to you, the perpetrator often become dismissive, stating that they were joking around, or as we say in Australia, “having a go at ya.”Just Friendly banter !

Which leads me to the question of kindness in society, at large?

Is decorum and discretion really a style of kindness that sometimes is thinly veiled in dishonesty?

Weekly Quote

Kindness costs nothing but can mean everything to someone

– Anonymous

Perhaps the Nigerian proverb gives us some insight into the beneficial ripple effect of showing kindness.

Join in on the discussion at Something to Ponder About this Sunday

statue vigeland
Community, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Consensus

Following on from the Sunday Sayings post about Truth – [which seems like a topical theme at the moment, given the preponderance of so- called fake news, in our world], is Consensus.

The Effects of Consensus

Is Consensus a noble objective, or can it be implicated in watering down any goals, objectives or even, progress that a group, workplace or family unit, might make?

Consensus in a group, setting, might mean respecting differing opinions and finding that sometimes illusive, “middle ground.” The group seeking consensus might be a family, a workplace or a community of individuals.

Some believe that in order to get agreement on group issues and direction, it is important to have a background of common values and goals and thus, workplace employees are often selected on that basis, when they begin employment. That makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, like-minded people, tend to agree, don’t they?

statue

Intertwined in this concept of consensus and truth, is the complication that everyone is an individual, and comes with a pre-set of values, developed via their upbringing, culture, or their own personal bias. Our previous discussion on ‘Truth,’ appears to indicate that truth, like individual opinions, can vary greatly according to each person’s perspective and a given moment in time, as Mann suggests below:

Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.

Horace Mann

This link claims, “Consensus implies that everyone accepts and supports the decision, and understands the reasons for making it.”

Sounds great in theory, doesn’t it? Everyone having a say, and everyone agreeing with one end decision after a friendly discussion? The world should therefore be a happy place, if consensus ruled. But then there is this:

As consensus does not imply perfect unanimity, it implies that the majority of people express a particular view, which is accepted as the consensus by all the members including those who actually oppose it. The dissent of the opposition is sacrificed in the interests of the harmony among the members or in the larger interests of the organization.

https://www.mbaknol.com/business-communication/consensus-and-its-significance-in-business/

Group Harmony and Acquiescence

The words posted above suggests that dissent is sacrified in the interests of harmony. That means some folks might give in. Are they really always happy about that?

Are they adult enough to side with harmony for the common good?

Does this happen in Politics?

Some will be confident enough in their self-concept and objectives to accept the outcome, or let go of dearly held viewpoints, for the sake of harmony, or for the good of the group, whilst for others, it will eat away at them, and perhaps also at group dynamics.

Might this lead eventually, to mutiny in the workplace and conflict, in the family group or political sphere?

The Blog Endless Weekend, also was moved to probe at this concept of truth in a recent post on Consensus.

Collective Responsibility of the Team

I feel the degree of collective responsibility within a given group, something more commonly referred to as team effort, or being a responsible team player, could perhaps, be one factor in overriding any concerns of jealousy, resentment or disregard in finalizing decisions.

How mature are we at handling group conflict and disagreement?

Do you always seek consensus in a group setting? Are you always happy if the outcome is progressive, even if your concerns were not elucidated or discussed?

statue

Does a powerful boss or leader intimidate the group so that the following might be true?

Sunday Sayings Weekly Proverb

“The squeaky wheel gets the most grease.”

American proverb

Are you a vocal or silent team player?

What do you think of the quotes and proverbs presented this week?

I invite you to join in the discussion here on Sunday Sayings.

Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi should have the last word –

Sunday Sayings – Something Topical to Ponder About today

stpa logo
Japanese garden
Community

Sunday Sayings – Truth

nimbin

Speaking the truth – is knowing who you are, but is it always the best thing for everybody?

“Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.” -Lena Dunham

So many around us choose to conceal, hide or change the truth to protect others or enhance ourselves. We are constantly bombarded by fake news, or so-called fake news. Perhaps the reports of fake news could even be fake, themselves. If so, then, what or where is the real truth?

Life isn’t about finding yourself.

Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw
jump joy happy

We create lies, fantasy or untruths based on fear, craving or perhaps even ill-will. We create alternative explanations of reality to cover up our failings, or defer facing things that are unpalatable, in order to escape from feeling negative emotions. A coping or protective strategy?

Can truth be as individual as each person, in all our uniqueness?

Weekly Proverb

Examining any part of the history of Poland suggests that the Polish Proverb has been useful to the Polish population. Sometimes the truth needs to hidden to ensure one’s survival or, another’s survival.

In continually hiding the truth, some people may even begin to lose themselves.

Sunday Sayings

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.

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.

Is truth vital in your world?

Moniga Del Garda

What do you make of the proverb and quotes posted today?

I would love to know your thoughts. Join in on the discussion.

Everyone’s opinion is important.

alesund
Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Idealism

I have been pondering the concept of idealistic versus realistic thoughts and its relationship to wisdom here. As always, I find Quotes and Sayings to be a great guide in deciphering the details and deciding on which side of the ledger I currently sit.

Confucius
Confucius

I think Confucius has some intriguing words for us.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom:

First, by reflection, which is noblest;

Second, by imitation, which is easiest;

and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

~ Confucius

Quite rightly, without reflection we cannot find a deeper meaning and sense in our world.

Experience becomes the teacher, when the ears will not listen.

In philosophy, when discussing the issues of perception, idealism is a theory that states that our reality is shaped by our thoughts and ideas.

In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society.

Your dictionary
  • Idealism Believes in the Universal Mind
  • Idealism Regards Man as a Spiritual Being
  • The World of Ideas and Values is more important than the world of Matter: …
  • Real knowledge is perceived in mind
  • Importance of Personality Development

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

~ Ann Frank

Anne Frank and her family kept true to her ideals, even though they cost them their life.

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

~ Confucius

Mostly anonymous, proverbs and sayings 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 the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.

What do you think of the sayings this week?

Do you think wisdom is gained more from mental thoughts and ideas, or pragmatic actions?

I inivte you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Everyone’s opinion is welcome at StPA.

old bridge trondheim
Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Oh Gosh, I am still an Idealist

Young and Idealistic

When we are young we are enthusiastic, fully of energy and want to change the world for the better. We think it can be easily changed in dramatic and beneficial ways. You could say we are somewhat naive and idealistic.

norway
Slightly more pragmatic

We haven’t experienced enough of life to develop pragmatism, or even cynicism. Wisdom comes much later in our lives, if we are fortunate and keep an open mind.

A quick Google search reveals:

Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.

Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.

An idealist is someone who envisions an ideal world rather than the real one. Some people consider idealists to be naive, impractical, and out of touch with reality. Idealists think that striving for perfection might make the world a better place. The main root of idealist is “ideal,” which comes from the Latin word idea. But a practical one, I think.

Is that a waste or unrealistic to let idealism and logic pervade one’s thinking?

pensive thoughful looking upward

Idealistic describes someone whose plans or goals of helping others are lofty, grand, and possibly unrealistic.

To dream of an end to child trafficking, poverty and environmental vandalism.

Idealistic? – Guilty

I don’t understand how people can litter – there is rubbish bins to be found or take your rubbish home with you.

Idealistic? – Guilty

I can’t easily comprehend disposing of something that can potentially be recycled.

Idealistic? – Guilty

Yes it seems I could seemingly be classified as a pragmatic idealist mixed up with a healthy dose of suburban cynicism. Wisdom – I am still working on that.

Agree or disagree?

When did you lose your idealism? Or gain a degree of cynicism and/or wisdom?

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Community, Mental Health, Motivational

More on Greed Risk and Desire

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.”

-Chris Rock
europe

Managing money often results in behaviours that might be regarded as greed or human competitiveness . Some folks feel an adrenaline rush at the prospect of making unexpected money. Creating wealth is often perceived to be a vehicle to a better quality of life or standard of living but can also awaken greed, which we began discussing in last week’s post.

Our investing brains come equipped with a biological mechanism that is more aroused when we anticipate a profit than when we actually get one.

Your MOney and Your Brain ~Jason Zweig

Human nature has evolved over millenia in competition with others. Within isolated island smaller tribal communities appear to live in relative harmony, perhaps even without competition or strong desires. With the introduction of external influences, comes desire, competition and inevitably conflict.

The potential of gaining or losing something of value – greed – this culminates in a selfish desire for something. Who of us can free ourselves totally from the desire for a better life?

Better an empty purse than wrongly got money

(Betre tom pung enn rangt skaffa pengar)

Swedish Proverb
Recycled hand bags

Greed is often characterised by a weak capacity for independent judgment with a strong appetite for measuring up against one’s peers.

The pride of dying rich raises the loudest laugh in hell

– John W. Foster

So is competition and desire a unavoidable part of human existence at some point?

Is greed wrapped up in maintaining our reputation? Is it based on our social status or our perceived performance amongst peers?

What do you think of the quotes and sayings here.


Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion of Sunday Sayings* by leaving a comment.

*Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog which has now morphed into Sunday Sayings. 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.

Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Change

You cannot step in the same river twice

– Middle Eastern Proverb

pond water

Can ‘change’ be a cyclic force, or is it more linear, with a beginning and an end?

Weekly Quotes

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

-Ben Franklin

Confucius
Confucius

“The superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them,

and as soon as they change what is wrong,

he stops.”

― Confucius



What is your take on these sayings?

Do you agree with them?

Do you think change is always cyclic or linear, with a beginning and end?

Was Ben Franklin right? Or blind to contentment?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Trondheim

Background to Sunday Sayings

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog. This morphed into Sunday Sayings.

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.

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