proverb from Tibet with snowy background
blogging

Norwegian Wisdom in Words

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

These often humble words, 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.

birch trees beside a Norwegian stream

Mange bekker små gjør en stor elv.

Many little streams make a great river.

Photo by Rawan Jo on Pexels.com

Smuler er også mat.

Crumbs are food too.

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Environment, History & Traditions, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Planting Trees

Toowoomba street and painted bird with lavender

“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” ~Greek Proverb

Goodreads.com

The Chinese sages also appreciated their value:

Chines proverb about planting a tree in a voice bubble

Let us not forget the importance of creating nature; fostering and nurturing Mother Earth.

Trees provide so many benefits to our everyday lives. They filter clean air, provide fresh drinking water, help curb climate change, and create homes for thousands of species of plants and animals. Planting a Billion Trees can help save the Earth from deforestation.

Helping to Plant Trees

Depending on location, it costs between $1-$3 to plant a tree including ongoing maintenance and stewardship. Including organizational overheads, I see this as a real bargain, especially for something that might last 70 years!

The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign is a major forest restoration effort with a goal of planting a billion trees across the planet.

So you don’t have the time or don’t want to get your hands dirty? I hear you, but you can still support the various organizations around the world depending on your preferred location.

Tree Planting Organizations

Landcare – Australia; (not for profit)

Greening Australia – 20 locations around Australia (also not for profit) 25 million plants established; 15,000 hectares of habitat restored; 150,000 tonnes of carbon sequestered per annum

Reforestnow – based in Byron Bay Austalia (not for profit) -planted  105,227 trees to restore rainforest in Australia on behalf of donors from around the world (as at 23 Mar 2021).  $5per tree.

Onetreeplanted – a global not for profit organization working against deforestation. $1 per tree.

Graph Source: One Tree Planted

Plant a billion trees initiative – South America, Africa and China

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Go Ahead.

Our planet depends on it.

blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Gratitude Finding Three Things

It is fairly well recognized that counting your blessings, as opposed to your burdens can have a huge impact on your psychological health.

Studies have demonstrated that showing gratitude for even the most basic things can have reduce depression and increase contentment.

How to Find Gratitude in life?

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-Melody Beattie

We cannot travel to, own, earn, win or consume happiness, but we can find it in gratitude in our daily lives, as Albert Clarke said,

“We must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.”

-Albert Clarke

Feeling Thankful

Many writers and philosophers considered thankfulness to be the highest form of thought, almost a spiritual experience. Acting thankful is something that inevitably leads to gratitude.

Buddha took this to an extreme.

Let us be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

Buddha

Gratitude as a Daily Habit

Marc and Angel suggested making gratitude a daily habit by:

..intentionally identifying three things in your life you are grateful for. It could be as simple as feeling thankful for the clean water that comes out of your faucet or appreciating the cool breeze on a warm day.

List the things you feel grateful for over dinner, or make it a habit to identify what you’re thankful for before you go to bed. Over time, being thankful becomes like second nature, and you’ll experience benefits ranging from improved sleep to greater immunity.

Marc and Angel

Do you make gratitude a daily habit?

For me, feeling and showing gratitude can reset my mind from its daily worries, anxieties and concerns. Concerns that, at times, feel quite overwhelming.

Thinking of the things I am grateful fore, can help ground me, re-focusing my attention on what I do have, on what is around me.

Many aspects of my life are not ideal, are unfair and may never change. And yet, there is still so much I can be grateful for, even in circumstances not so ideal.

Could you identify three things you’re grateful for each and every day?

beach at low tide
blogging, Philosophy

Is Life Getting Harder?

If we only look at things through one filter, one lens, they will always seem the same.

seeing

Never forget that no matter what anyone does, you are responsible for how you feel.

The brain is a powerful filter that moulds experiences and perceptions of reality. If you think the world is a dangerous place, your brain is wired to hunt for evidence of danger. 

If you believe it’s a loving place, you spot more loving opportunities. 

What you focus on, you get more of.

Marc and Angel
Norwegian proverb life

I enjoy finding inspirational old quotes and sayings. Their wise words so succinctly contain good counsel and recipes for life, if we are open to learning from them.

Livet er fullt av store ting for dem som evner a omgas de sma ting fortrolig

Life is full of great things for those who have the innate ability to enjoy the small.

Norwegian proverb

Do you agree with these old Norwegian proverbs?

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.

.

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

Australian beach cliff sunrise
blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

It Started with the Door

I was washing the Schnauzer Dog this morning and the young pup and rest of the family kept interrupting me, pushing open the door hitting me in the shoulder, when I was working with the dog in the tub, full of shampoo.

If it wasn’t the pup pushing open the closed door latch, it was the Moth a.k.a. ‘Man of the House,’ (New homes appear to have internal doors that don’t securely latch closed, unless you slam them).

Each time the door was opened, the very wet and soapy Schnauzer, now full of shampoo would repeatedly try to leap from the tub, and and you can just imagine how slippery a fully soaped up dog was. It was a slightly exasperating situation.

Dog washing complete, I then set about cleaning the laundry and the same scene repeated, much to my dismay. Newly cleaned floors covered with either Schnauzer paw prints or Moth footprints as suddenly everyone wanted to get into the laundry for some reason. Grr.

I felt the tension rising in my body. I was irritated by the door latch not staying closed and the laundry suddenly becoming busier than Central Station. After a few grumbles under my breath, I paused, took a deep breath and tried to remember the wise saying I read earlier this week:

When you are upset, remind yourself the cause of your discomfort is your own attitude.

This is Freedom.

Dr. Lee Jampolsky

If there is something you don’t like, you can either change it or change the way you think about it.

Each and every day, the real battle for freedom takes place in your mind.

 Ingen kan hjelp den som ikke vil hjelpe seg sjøl.

Noone can help someone who will not help him/her/themself

Norwegian proverb

Do you have a way of dissolving tension that works for you?

If so, I would like to hear it.

shrine in Tokuyo
Motivational

Herd Mentality

The Honey bee is successful because it is a master of teamwork and collective decision making. They use their communication system to allow good decisions to spread and diminish information that is unhelpful.

Joanne Reed
bee

According to Author Joanne Reed, humans in a group, are influenced by what the majority of others are thinking, or doing, a similar thought, or thing, rather than the message, a type of herd mentality. When there is uncertainty in the environment surrounding a decision, she notes that people tend to feel safer, ‘siding with the crowd,’ rather than going it alone, even if that decision might be a bad one. Yet we are alert to bad news, it garners our attention, more so than good news.

Social Experiment on Herd Mentality

Citing a social experiment using slot machines and payouts, Joanne Reed talks about how people tended to follow the choice of the majority, once they had learned a particular slot machine paid out, more often than the rest. When the winning slot machine was changed, they stuck with playing that same machine even after it no longer paid out.

When uncertainty increased, players apparently took even longer to break away from conformant behavior.”

authorjoannereed.net

Many marketing techniques exploit this tendency in human nature. Just this week, I saw a video advertisement for an online program designed to teach you “Secret Ways to Boost Sales,” (of one’s art products). The message was clear – You would be foolish to pass this opportunity by, as everyone, yes, everyone, is doing this and everyone, is increasing their sales exponentially.

Really?

Everyone?


Social Media and advertising plays around with this herd mentality and our decisions as a consumer. We seem more inclined to trust a beauty or personal product if it is endorsed by a particular celebrity, or professional. Products that receive a gazillion ‘likes,’ or positive reviews, appear to be seen as trustworthy and reliable, than those with a mere one-star rating.

Where am I


“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.”

Jess C. Scott, Literary Heroin (Gluttony): A Twilight Parody

Some are tempted to follow blogs or social media accounts with large followings, based on the quality of the site’s content, or the curiosity to check out what all the ‘hype,’ is about? These folks might think there is a very good reason people view them and they want to know too, right?

In smaller groups or where there was a less challenging task to undertake, people seem more comfortable pursuing, or willing to explore, less popular or divergent decisions. But this feeling of certainty and penchant for safety in numbers, that draws us to side with the crowd – where has it come from? George Patton appeared to value divergent thinking.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

George S. Patton on authorjoannereed.net

Given that bees are highly successful using collective communication methods, it is interesting that we have been successful despite our tendencies towards herd decision making. Some research suggests that we have been successful, not just because we were a co-operative species, but because we have been friendly. People are more likely to work cooperatively, if their colleagues are friendly.

Some folks might be more inclined to join a protest rally when their friends were doing it, or it seemed the right thing to do because there is a subconscious message as everyone is doing it? Would they still join the protest on belief in the cause, alone?

The nail that sticks up, will be hammered down

Japanese Proverb

Food for Thought

Does this have implications in what we see in today’s society? Or how future societies might be?

Are we just as guilty of herd decision-making, if we side with the majority of a team in a workplace?

How influenced are you by the herd?

Do you listen to divergent opinions?

Something to Ponder About




History & Traditions, Motivational, Philosophy

Weekly Quote and Proverb

Proverbs and Quotes provide us with wisdom from days past.

These words, generally anonymous and uttered so succinctly, can teach us so much, in just a few words.

Here are this week offerings:

The greater love is a mother’s;

then comes a dog’s;

then a sweetheart’s – Polish Proverb

Schnauzer dog

In these times of pandemic and social distancing, we would do well to remember the Danish proverb:

No one is rich enough

to do

without a neighbour.

Danish Proverb
Dragør

As a second wave of Corona looks to be commencing in a southern state, the final word goes to Thomas Edison –

Stay safe.

shopping centre with consumers
Australia

Post LockDown Possibilities for Retail Centres

Worst-case Scenario

I think we all are aware that brands and stores may not survive the financial hiatus resulting from the pandemic. Together with the shift in the popularity of online shopping, the enforced elimination of in-person appointments and alternative home delivery methods, what if shopping malls could become a relic of the past?

Already anchor shopping centre retailers, like Kmart and Myer are closing stores and looking at ways they can down-size their in-store presence.

Shopping malls might become ghost towns, abandoned places left to rack and ruin, post-Covid.

Might it be possible that abandoned locations such as those could undergo a phoenix-like transformation should the worst happen in a post-pandemic environment?

A Silver Lining

With a little alteration, abandoned malls could become emergency shelters or accommodation for the homeless or disadvantaged folks. The infrastructure exists – services such as lighting, electricity and plumbing etc could be re-connected.

Small stores might easily be converted to residential rooms and larger stores to dormitory or dining areas. The homeless or troublesome graffiti artistis will infiltrate abandoned places anyway!

There could be retraining and shelter facilities, hardware stores could become areas for learning trades or sheltered workshops.

Photo credit: Tweed News

Is it pessimistic to think that this might unfortunately come to pass, or that a rejuvenation in a humanitarian form even possible?

All is Not Lost

There are reports and discussions occurring about opening up society again and how our Government could gradually do it.

The process has started, with parks and playgrounds re-opening, as our Covid new case rate is relatively low, compared to some other countries. Travel between Australia and New Zealand might even be allowed in the coming months.

Mortgages in abeyance will still have to paid. If the employment is there, can they play catch up when income has been severely restricted or absent for several months? If not, then more emergency shelter accommodation will be needed.

Time will tell.

Where am I

Hopefully, your shopping mall an small business will survive and rise to the challenges of online business.

Sunday Saying

Things are never so bad that they are not good for something.

Aldri så gale er godt for noko

Swedish Proverb

We look for the silver lining.

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Procrastination

Dr Robert Boice spent two decades delving into the minds of writers to work out why they are so easily distracted. He found that master procrastinators are suckers for falling for the short term hit at the expense of their long-term goal.

blog.reedsy.com/learning/courses/writing/stop-procrastinating-and-build-a-rock-solid-writing-routine/kill-procrastination-gremlins/

People prone to procrastination place a disproportionate focus on the outcome, rather than the input required to make their dream come true. This can cause increased levels of anxiety.

https://blog.reedsy.com/learning/courses/writing/stop-procrastinating-and-build-a-rock-solid-writing-routine/kill-procrastination-gremlins/

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.”
– William James

Then the panic sets in….

And most pertinent in this Corona phase of life:

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
– Olin Miller

Do you identify with facets of procrastination?

Is it a fear of the future that holds you back from dealing with issues or would you consider motivation, or a lack thereof, more imperative to procrastination?

Why do we procrastinate so much? Is it worse since the advent of our electronic devices?

If so, is that mean we are more distractible these days. And then, my question would be, what does that lead to in the long term?

Something to ponder about this Sunday.

Join in the discussion. I would love to hear your perspective.

Motivational

Leadership

Weekly Quotes

“There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” – Klaus Balkenhol

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

What makes a good leader?

Does a manager lead by example or by words?

Is compliance of employees achieved by checking, verifying, straightening those who they see as divergent from their policy or procedures? Can successfully managing a team mean you do not need to mould, reform or control?

Some years ago, I worked in a friendly and collaborative workplace, until sweeping changes created some newly appointed Team Leaders and the group dynamics changed.

The decline in morale and mood in the workplace was palpable. Many Senior staff left the organization and the atmosphere became toxic. Harassment, and criticism became commonplace. The boss tacitly supported this through direct, brusque emails. Softer, quietly spoken colleagues were the first targets to suffer under this micro-managerial behaviour.

The result: A disconnected, ineffective workplace with high absenteeism rates and resignations.

To be an effective manager of staff, you must possess a range of skills. Particularly decisiveness, empathy, intelligence, problem-solving skills, and great communication.

Similarly, in Government, we see politicians sit idly by until the public who elected them cry out for them to do something. Then, threatened by their own downfall, they move, often in the wrong ways and far too late.

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.

– Woodrow Wilson

Our politicians would do well to remember Woodrow Wilson’s words.

As always, the old pearls of wisdom and quotes provide us with much insight into learning what constitutes leadership.

Weekly Proverb

Verona
Verona

He that would be a leader must be a bridge.

– Welsh Proverb

Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Saying -Misinformation and Communication

In this regular Sunday post, I welcome discussion of traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within their succinct words.
Not only do they have an ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age, they may also impart knowledge; a 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 to interpret it how we see fit and how we pass it on.

Weekly Proverb

Caution minimizes loss

– Filipino proverb

Fake news has been systemic for several years now, and the pandemic has seen masses of digital misinformation, from conspiracy theories to suggestions that only old people are affected. Social media is one of the usual protoganists.

So it begs the question:

Will history books be the only truth-tellers of our time?

Weekly Quotes

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”  

-Reuben Blades

The great enemy of communication… is the illusion of it.

— William H. Whyte
Where am I

Where do you get your information from and how is it communicated?

Do you know much about the people behind the company who conveys your news? Their agenda or background?

Who do you believe? And Why?

How do you verify your news is not fake news?


Linking this also to Debbie’s communication post

You are welcome to join in the discussion. All comments are welcome.

Community, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Sayings – Hurtful words

This week in Australia, there has been many hurtful words slung in the fight for supplies in supermarkets – primarily panic buying on toilet paper. The premise is flawed as we have enough supplies and manufacture it here. But still, folks panic buy a trolley load! Brawls have erupted in the toilet paper isles of the major supermarkets! Hurtful words have been said.

beach

Feeling Irritated

A few weeks ago I was discussing what happens when we feel irritated by someone else’s words.

I asked:

What do we gain by feeling irritated? Is there any kind of benefit in this?

  • We get to feel like a martyr – meaning I AM still okay so you are NOT
  • We get to blame others for our feelings
  • We get to feel unhappy and it’s someone else’s fault

Ultimately, all of us need to take responsibility for our own feelings and aim to be more accepting of other people, their temperaments and priorities.

But what about the other side of irritation? The fall out from those spiteful words said in a moment of anger that are often regretted? It is not always easy to repair the damaged relationship, nor unsay what has already been said.

Hurtful words are often said when we do not have, or cannot find, the words to clearly express our needs, clearly or succinctly. It seems like frustration and pain often lie behind the words that are spoken.

Te Mata Peak New Zealand

Weekly Quotes

“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future” – Robert Schuller

The Hidden Meaning Behind Hurtful Words

from pamfullerton.com

“In making hurtful comments, we are usually trying to communicate strong, unresolved feelings. However, this seems to work against us as it causes pain in ourselves and others.”

And if we don’t transform pain, we might transmit it.

Thinking about what it is that we really want to communicate when we say hurtful words to, someone we know, is useful.

Some examples:

Angry statement: “You never spend time with me anymore – you don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

The real meaning: “I miss you and sometimes I feel unloved & lonely when we don’t spend time together”

Said with frustration: “Calm down”

The real meaning: “I’m at a loss, I feel inadequate because I have no idea how to help you”

Said with hurt: “I’m done – I want out”

The real meaning: “I don’t want to be hurt anymore and I’m at a loss as to how to make things better between us”

Said in exasperation: “Get over it and just deal with it”

The real meaning: I can’t help anymore, as I am out of useful suggestions.

Expressing our true feelings can makes us feel vulnerable, and if the other person fails to respond to our admissions, with empathy, or begins to accuse or blame, the hurt will be felt even more acutely.

IMG_8851

“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings, but silence breaks your heart.” Source – unknown

Do you ever get the silent treatment in times of conflict? Phone calls that are blocked or remain unanswered?

Could this communication breakdown be a method of coping with the situation or possibly freezing you out so that reconciliation is impossible and the other party will be seen to be right? Are they finding it impossible to find any words to convey their true emotions?

Hurtful words damage the trust we feel in any relationship.

Quotes and proverbs provide us with some wisdoms:

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.”

-Archibald MacLeish

Weekly Proverb

A gentle word opens the strongest lock

– Old English Proverb

Sunday Sayings – Something to Ponder About