Sunday, July 27, 2008

A wise man gets learning from those who have none.

Learning from your mistakes is often painful but usually effective: no one wants to repeat a painful experience. The school of hard knocks tries and tests us and we graduate with honors in proportion to our bruises. But what if there was an easier way?

Instead of taking all the hard times yourself why not just observe others taking the blows of their follies and you can avoid what they have done. Learn to be observant and note what works for others and what does not.

Trial and error constitutes a wasteful method, try thinking first, says the proverb and you can add other people's trials and errors to that.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Look not for musk in a dog’s kennel

Most sensible people would probably rather not go sniffing in a dog’s kennel but if they did they would expect a horrible pong, not the pleasant scent of a musk rose.

This proverb is telling us to be realistic in our expectations. We have a tendency to want things to be as we wish them whereas reality can de disagreeable. Many people build a view of the world that is rose-tinted, ignoring facts that don’t suit them and tending to expect hope to triumph over experience.

You have to be strong, face reality and learn how to deal with it. Hiding your head in the sand is not an option.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The sting of a reproach is the truth of it

When someone tells you off you are likely to react with annoyance if not outright anger: who are they to be telling you? No one likes to be put in their place but what if we deserve it?

This saying is suggesting that we are most likely to be put out when the criticism is accurate and apt. Being confronted with a truth concerning your failings can be a shock especially if your error has never been made known to you before, and you realise that it is true.

Your first instinct is defensive and you are likely to hotly deny the accusation but on quiet reflection you might see that the reproach was justified, and it is a wake up call for you to mend you ways.

We all make mistakes, it is part of the learning process, the important thing is to take the lesson and progress. In a few years' time it will probably be you telling off some junior for the exact same fault!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

There is God's poor and the Devil's poor

God's poor are the deserving poor -- those who have worked as hard as they could, practised thrift and gone hungry rather that get into debt. Unfortunately, life tends to be nine parts cards one part skill, so, with good intent and effort it is still possible to find yourself in dire straits. Bad luck can affect anyone.

The Devil's poor are those who are feckless, careless with money, spendthrift and expect others to carry and keep them when they have lost the lot. If they have money they squander it on drink, drugs, gambling and any other vice that catches their attention. They lack discipline and character and will tend to end up poor no matter what they are given.

Who suffers the most when they have reached rock bottom -- the person who tried, suffered and struggled or the one who merrily indulged to excess? Sadly it would seem to be the person who has put in every effort but still failed. It must be quite difficult to avoid being bitter especially if your neighbour is recounting stories of the excesses that led to his plight.

One can but hope that God takes care of his own, eventually.