Sunday, August 27, 2006

In much corn there is some cockle.

In much corn there is some cockle.
The corn cockle is a weed identified with the Biblical tares. No doubt our agricultural ancestors would have been satisfied with this statement at face value being happy to see a good yield even if the crop had a drop of weeds among it. They might then have gone on to observe that persons of outstanding ability often had flaws, faults and follies that went with their greatness and realise the generality of what they had learned in the cornfield. It is rarely in life that anything is all good there is usually a downside that you have to put up with in order to get the benefits. In a modern field the weeds might have been suppressed by weed killer, but we then have to worry about pesticides in our food. It seems that perfection doesn't exist this side of Heaven.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Labour as long lived; pray as ever dying.

Labour as long lived; pray as ever dying.
If you take this saying to heart you will always give of your best, knowing that effort today means reward tomorrow. People coming close to retirement might lose heart and wonder why they bother but this is likely to lead to depression and carelessness. Thus their standing with colleagues will diminish and much of the good work done in earlier years will be forgotten, and who knows, perhaps someone had them earmarked for an exciting opportunity in their leisured future.

For those who are religious this saying is probably easier to follow than those who see nothing beyond the grave. But we should all learn to think of the importance of the survival of the family, the tribe, the country, and the human race, and contribute to it as long as we can, knowing our work will be carried on by someone else. This way your declining years will still have hope and meaning.

"Pray as ever dying" suggest the importance of being prepared for the eventuality of demise and putting your affairs in order. Follow this saying and you will fade away gradually and without remorse, like a glorious sunset.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tie the sack before it fills.

Anyone bagging corn or flour would immediately understand the wisdom of this saying as it is necessary to have enough slack to gather together to allow the cord to get a grip. A greedy person who filled his sack to the top would be unable to close it, and spillage and spoilage would leave them with a lot less. Our farming ancestors would smile knowingly on hearing this observation.

So, what wisdom has it to teach us today? In general we are being told of the folly of trying to grab too much and being left with less. An example from the world of the stock market is the advice to always leave something for someone else - meaning sell out before the market tops - that way you are guaranteed a buyer.

People who build up a business are advised to have an exit strategy and not to wait till they are about to retire and then desperately seek to sell, and find it is a bad time as demand is currently low.

It could also suggest the idea of stopping eating before you are full and therefore avoiding a bad stomach and the dangers of obesity.

This all boils down to giving yourself time and opportunity to bring any activity to a sensible close, and not be caught short.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

In excess, nectar poisons.

You can have too much of a good thing is the lesson here. Most children learn the hard way that eating too much makes them sick. Just being told by their elders is never enough - it is the actual experience that teaches the best lesson.

The above applies to most if not all areas of human life. How often do we read of the rich person who has inherited a vast fortune, and has a totally miserable life? The excess of wealth becomes a burden to them and they are not constrained by lack of money in indulging their follies in the way the rest of us are.

Tell people that something is good for them and they will overdose on it. Exercise freaks will run till they develop fractures or suffer heart attacks. The counsel to practice moderation in all things is an excellent one. Addictions are numerous - we have alcoholics, gambling addicts, drug addicts, sexaholics - anything pleasurable seems to lead some individuals to excess. This should act as a warning to everyone else. Enough is as good as a feast.

For over-indulging computers: