Sunday, September 28, 2008

He that is worst may still hold the candle

Imagine a disaster scene where people are trapped in a collapsed building. Many are injured and the fit desperately try to dig their way out. It makes sense that one of the wounded holds the candle whilst the able work.

This saying tells us that we should contribute to life as much as we can even if we are disadvantaged. The old lady who makes the tea while the young and vigorous apply themselves to the task at hand makes a very useful contribution. The elderly gentleman who grows some organic vegetables to help feed his grandchildren because the parents are too busy contributes according to his ability and circumstances.

We all have something to give or contribute to the general well-being no matter how poorly or hard done by we are, and in return we share in the success.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who lives without folly is not so wise as he thinks

The 17th-century physicist-turned-theologian Blaise Pascal said, "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing." This appears to be warning us against the total reliance on logic or what might appear to be logic.

Life is immensely complex and the ability of the human mind to absorb information and process it is limited. This is perhaps why Nature has equipped us with intuition and instinct. Creative people are aware that there is often an "unseen hand" involved in their works; they might attribute this to the subconscious or God or some unknowable force.

The "folly" in this saying is not foolishness but that more playful, instinctive side that we all have but which tends to get suppressed in the need to conform and hold down a regular job. Those individuals whose lot in life is to follow their hearts will know highs and lows; the strict logician will shake his head, but we are meant to live in a harmonious balance between emotion and reason.

Women's Wisdom

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The tree falls not at the first stroke

The lumberjack sharpens his axe, rolls up his sleeves and lays into the tree with a will. If it has worthwhile timber it will take many skilful blows to bring it down before conversion to a useful purpose begins.

This saying uses a metaphor to make us aware that anything worthwhile takes time and effort. You must prepare, equip yourself with the right resources and take time to apply your skills to the task. Some trees are awkward to fell: their branches tangle with others or they lean at an troublesome angle. Other life tasks have equivalent problems.

Just as the good woodman will show preparation, patience and perseverance, you also must use these qualities as you tackle your own tasks.

Women's Wisdom

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The wife is the key of the house

In a day and age of gender equality does this saying still apply?

The traditional housewife might have been thought of as subservient to her husband but most men used to refer to their wives as "the boss". The lady of the house was the home manager controlling the budget and making most of the decisions. Would the average male still be living in a cave if it wasn't for his better half nagging for something grander?

This saying recognises the traditional arrangement where the man was the nominal head of the family but the real power lay with the demure little lady. The power of a sharp tongue has sent many a physically powerful man cringing to his lair. "Yes, dear. Of course, dear." Anything for a bit of peace!

But again old-fashioned true love might have had something to do with it.

Women's Wisdom