Sunday, July 30, 2006

Men given to tears are good.

There has been a traditional image of western men as macho "John Wayne type" characters swaggering dry-eyed through life with weeping frail women clinging to their strong arm. In fact pioneering women in the Old West were probably as tough as old boots with little time for copious weeping.

So, is crying for men sissy, or just a natural phenomenon that has its place and purpose? As little children, boys cry as much as girls in order to alert their parents to hunger, discomfort and pain, but as we grow we begin to get criticism. "Don't be a cry baby". "Big boys don't cry". We come to regard ceasing to cry as being grown up. But is it a good thing to stifle tears? Medical opinion would appear to be that over-repressing emotions can lead to stress and heart attacks.

It seems that it really all depends on the type of crying - babyish whining in a grown man or woman is unbecoming, but real emotion expressed in a few tears communicates genuineness. Most adult males are moved to tears by severe emotional onslaughts such as the death of a close friend or relative, and, generally speaking, women are probably more given to expressing their feelings with tears.

Does this mean that a man who cries more easily than average is effeminate, or even cowardly, as some might imply? Well, this blog was inspired by Sir Winston Chuchill and he was regularly in tears. Now, who would say that someone who was involved in most of the wars of his century, took part in cavalry charges, rescued wounded soldiers from the Boers, escaped single-handedly from prisoner-of-war camp, and finally became the great hero who defeated the Nazis, was effeminate?

Strong men can have strong emotions and a few tears show how genuine they are. The important thing is that tears should not stop a man from doing his duty. Who cares if a hero's eyes are full of tears as he saves the day - better a wet-eyed saviour than a dry-eyed skulk.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Love makes passion, but money makes marriage

This old French proverb" L'amour fait rage, mait l'argent fait marriage" could be the gold digger's favorite saying but it makes a lot of sense. In days gone by in the western world (as in some eastern countries today) marriages were contracted for mutual advantage of the families involved - love came by chance if at all.
Some people say that all the secret passages in old castles were not so much for escaping your enemies but were mostly used by those in lovelorn marriages slipping off to their lovers. Today most people fall in love and worry about the practical problems later. Marriage for many is a non starter.
If we were perfectly balanced people our reasoning half would insist on putting the practical foundations of life in order first i.e. job, steady income, place to live, before allowing emotions any freedom, but most people want love to spring into their lives uninvited and to carry them off in a torrent of passion with fate left to take care of the nitty-gritty. Nice work if you can get it!

Love story:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

You may gape long enough ere a bird fall into your mouth.

Looking and wishing will not get you very far if you really want something you need to put in the effort to get it. Too many people spend their lives waiting for something good to happen and end up disappointed. So how do you get going? Shakespeare said "There is a tide in the affairs of man, which, taken at the flood, leads on to success". Getting you timing right is essential for most enterprises: "Sow when dry, set when wet" our agricultural ancestors would murmur, or note: "The early bird gets the worm". Lessons from nature are all around us and from time to time someone crystallises them into a saying or proverb. Stay alert, be active seek wisdom and one day you might discover your own proverb, to be passed down the generations. Standing gaping will not get you very far.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Knowledge is a treasure, but practise is the key to it.

To anyone struggling to play a musical instrument this is painfully obvious. The treasure houses of knowledge are usually very well fortified and to gain entry and enjoy the good things within takes time and regular effort. People are not born wise, "you cannot put a young head on old shoulders". Nowadays with the Internet knowledge is everywhere and available at the click of a button but in order for it to be of any use it is necessary to be selective and to work regularly at absorbing facts and methods into the mind. Only then will you have the key to unlock the treasure chests of knowledge and gain the many benefits of attainment.

Know the USA

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Those who make best use of their time have none to spare.

A lack of time seems to be a modern complaint - we have romantic images of a bucolic past when everyone had loads of time to chat with neighbors, potter in the garden and leisurely chew on a straw. This old saying appears to suggest otherwise - for busy people lack of time has always been a problem.

Another saying "Work expands to fill the time allocated to it" is supposed to be a practise of the lazy who will dawdled and delay until the last minute and then complain of a lack of time. So there appears to be two types of people who are short of time - the over workers and the under workers - but how does the ordinary individual with a balanced approach to life cope with time management? Do proverbs give us any guidance?

Well how about: "Don't bite off more than you can chew"? Keep your workload to sensible levels and learn your limits and try to work within them.

"Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today". Work efficiently and don't let small tasks accumulate. Try to deal with them as they come up if possible - visiting the same task twice is a waste of time.
"Lost time is never found again" This we all know but is a reminder to use time effectively.

"Where there's a will there's a way" Many an individual has pitted their wits against a problem when all others have passed it by and eventually they have succeeded but the cost in time is usually great. Be determined but be wary of pigheadedness leading you to horrendous time costs. Even if you do succeed will it be worth it?

"Time and tide wait for no man" This being so it is essential to be like the Boy Scout and "be prepared" so that your precious time is used as it should. Having to go back to base because you have forgotten a tool etc. wastes everybody's time.

"Time brings roses" Most worthwhile things take time and we need to cultivate patience. Waiting for something can be agonising, especially for the young who are often wishing their time away, but whilst waiting for a main event try filling in the gaps with something useful. Having an improving book to hand helps to use spare moments productively as they come up.

Time destroys all things" As we grow older we realise that our time is limited and we often wish we had spent it more wisely - there seemed so much of it when we were young. Change is constant and we see the things that were an important part of our life fade and disappear. Time never stands still and where there is time there is change.

"Time is money" This saying is a rod for our backs. Self-employed people soon realise the truth of this and it can drive some people to wreck their health whilst it spurs others to wealth achievement and fulfilment. Don't let it become your master.

Time is the great teacher. How often do we wish we had known something when we were young? Some lessons are painfully learned over a period of time and the realisation that, if only you had had the right instruction much of the pain could have been avoided, can be quite bitter.

"Time is the rider that breaks in youth". This is much the same as above - with the passing of time we experience and learn often from "the school of hard knocks".

"Time tries truth" Things we believed in passionately in youth can seem less certain with age and experience. Mass movements that enthral a generation can seem clearly flawed to the next one. With the passing of time and new perspectives apparent certainties crumble to dust and blow away on the wind of knowledge and understanding.

"Time passes, sayings endure" This is surely one to end on. Use your time wisely - you only get one allocation!

Time saver: