Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Paradox of Proverbs

I've long been fascinated with proverbs. Not just how they sound, which is comforting, but also by theparadox.

While proverbs are great at encapsulating a point of view, they are useless at providing guidance. In fact, worse than useless.

Proverbs are frequently used by people to justify really stupid decisions when they don't feel up to really thinking about it.

They're useless because there is contradictory folk wisdom for any point of view.

You want to move quickly without considering the implications and you justify it with:
"He who hesitates is lost" and Strike while the Iron is Hot".
Well, what about: Look before you leap.

A penny saved is a penny earned. You need to spend money to make it (OK, not as good an example but I'm in a hurry to get my run in).

The point that I want to make in my opus on proverbs has something to do with following your own internal compass, not the wisdom of others.

BTW, while you might have noted that my use of the word opus is self-mocking, this is a project that I've thought about for years. Be careful, with just a little support, I might pursue it. For instance, I just bought myself a pair of domains ( and It was just 15 months ago that I dusted off another old project and created my spelling web site. My point is that I might just dive into it.

Readers. Please help. Can you come up with some pairs of proverbs that express opposing points of view? I'd appreciate the help.

I got into this today when I read a "just keep churning" story with some folk history supports it. Beth, the just keep churning lady, had a teaching story by Paramahansa Yoganandato to support her quest: to get a motivational call from Diane Sawyer (I'm not kidding!). Apparently, she has long idolized Diane and this would be meaningful to her.

My instinct was to remind her that a definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over and over again and expect different results. Perhaps, better goal setting would be a good exercise for her? For instance, motivational calls by Ed Mouse are amazingly effective and they come with a complementary coffee cup. Plus, they can be arranged quikcly so that she can get on with her life. Or, maybe, she should stick to her guns (note, all paradoxical proverbs contributions gratefully accepted but without any right to attribution, royalties, or other moral rights in my opus)

Education, learning, & homeschool
Here are three more educational directory sites that might benefit from a little goosing...
Reading Comprehension is one of the major goals of education.We all need more help with math.And, while school seems like the place to learn and make friends, the homeschool world is fast showing how false that can be.there's also the big homeschool world website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike

Fools seldom differ