Sunday, December 31, 2006

Better a flawed diamond than a perfect pebble

Better a flawed diamond than a perfect pebble

Financially this is perfectly obvious as even a diamond with a fault will be worth much more than a flawless piece of rounded stone, but taking it as a metaphor we can consider human personalities.

The ordinary person who abides by the rules and gives offence to no one is a worthy citizen but will probably be regarded as predictably boring. The rough diamond type who rubs some people up the wrong way and might not be too fussy about rule breaking seems exciting to most people. The heroes in most novels and stories are those who take risks and bend the rules to their advantage - the maverick cop is a recurring staple of TV.

But you bend the rules at your own peril - in real life the dodger usually gets caught eventually.


http://www.clarkscript.com/whitesmoke.html

Sunday, December 24, 2006

More are slain by suppers than the sword.

More are slain by suppers than the sword.

Feasting in bygone days was an unselfconscious affair: people would eat till they literally burst. Henry the VIII died of a surfeit of lampreys as no one would dare to tell a king to stop being so silly

Today we have a constant stream of media information warning against overeating and what to, and what not to, eat and drink. Yet despite this cornucopia of good advice people are more obese than ever. How many people do you know who are digging their own graves with a spoon?

Death by a sword stroke was a reality for our ancestors so perhaps they liked to "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you might die" but as most healthy people can now expect to reach 90 it makes sense to pace yourself and avoid binges - enough is better than a feast.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

You must spoil before you spin well.

You must spoil before you spin well.

A few generations ago most of our maternal ancestors would have spun wool as part of their contribution to the family budget. This is where the term spinster came from as unmarried girls would be proving their worth to their parents and siblings with the very useful commodity of wool yarn.

The value of wool revenue in England was such that the Chancellor of the Exchequer sat on the woolsack. Our ancestors would have learned that the process of acquiring skill at spinning meant making many mistakes before proficiency was achieved. The basic principle of the saying applies to most human activities then and now.

Do not be afraid of making mistakes when tackling a new project as this is a part of the learning experience. "The man who never made a mistake never made anything".

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Keep no more cats than will catch mice.

Keep no more cats than will catch mice.

Being over-equipped for a task can be a waste of resources. The farmer who has too many cats will have a barn free of mice but a big bill for cat food.

How many of us have too many tools for the tasks we must perform? Too much time spent on education detracts from the time spent applying what we have learned and earning the fruits of labour. A businessman who over-invests will ended up with assets that produce no meaningful returns. A healthy athlete should be lean and fit, carrying no excessive fat or muscle that is not needed to reach optimum efficiency for their chosen sport.

Acquire the assets or tools you need and invest your time becoming proficient in their use and you will reap the rewards.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Diligent Scholar and the Master is Paid.

A Diligent Scholar and the Master is Paid.

This probably gives an idealised image of the schoolmaster of a bygone age, but proverbs should contain eternal truths, so what are they?

Job satisfaction is an important part of any occupation and the fruits of a schoolmaster's labours is a well educated, well rounded, young person equipped for life and able to be a worthy part of their community. These are noble ideals but no doubt many young people reading them will snort in disgust - old so and so only does it for the money!

Exceptional teachers are by definition exceptions but most will seek to help their students and gain satisfaction when they get a positive response. Teachers and pupils must work to learn and learn to work. Success will then come to all.

About Me


Author of "Stirring Western Poems" "How to Write Lyrical Limericks & Poems that Pay" "700 Limericks & How to Write Them"
"Clean Limericks For All Occasions"