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Thoughts Inspiration Education: My Little Guide to Proverbs

Updated: Mar 8, 2020

Books by Tirza Schaefer

By now, you have already got an inkling of there being so many things you can do with words and various combinations thereof, the intention with which they are used and so forth. Today we are going to look at a few examples of proverbs.

Proverbs are an easy to remember way of passing on universal messages, some wisdom, some fun, some nonsensical and some superstitious. Very often they rhyme or play with words, which make them even more memorable. Often, we hear or repeat a proverb without realising the deep wisdom that is hidden like a pearl within a hard and often unassuming shell.


“It takes a thief to know a thief.”


This little oneliner holds a lot more in its message than merely a statement about criminals, for example. It speaks of the fundamental truth of human perception, seeing the world through a specific lens and identifying that which is in harmony with this worldview. If you are dishonest, you are a lot more likely to identify another dishonest person, or if you cannot be sure, you may expect others to act on the same lower motives as you do. In other words, the repetition here points to a commonality.

Books by Tirza Schaefer

The reverse is also true. An honest person will not be so ready to suspect another of being deceitful and most likely, will not expect the world to be intrinsically bad and malicious. If you do, chances are, you may not be a criminal, but you are not honest with yourself and do not lead your life in a way that authentically represents your highest version, your true being beyond all the layers of assimilation, conformity and people pleasing.


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”


This includes an alliteration flanking the sentence to make it more memorable. Its meaning is clear. All things and everyone can be beautiful if you look at it with a focus on perceiving beauty. Again, if you don’t, you will not see it. So it is up to the observer to see beauty, not up to the thing or person to provide it, because intrinsically, it is already there.

What eyes do you look at the world with? Are you focused on seeing beauty around you or are you looking for the imperfections, the ugly, the never-good-enough? If the latter is the case, chances are, you see yourself in the same light. Then maybe it’s time for a change of view.


“Birds of a feather flock together.”


This is an example of a rhyming proverb and its message is that people who share commonalities stay together, whether this be familial ties, a common interest or social and/or economic status. Humans are intrinsically herd animals and like to be part of a group. Check on the many themed groups on social media, for example on Facebook. Nowadays, it is even possible to be part of a group of like-minded people that spans the entire globe. You need not ever meet the other members in person for you to share something with that is meaningful for you.

This proverb can also act as a warning to consider that people with a common interest or background will stick ultimately together and it may not be easy to separate them, whether the intentions behind you doing so are good or bad.


“You can’t always get what you want.”


This is a fear-based statement that disregards the fact that everyone is an all-powerful creator and manifests every aspect of their own lives, mostly by subconscious programming. If you are not aware of this fact, you feel like a victim of people, places, circumstances and “higher beings” who hold your fate in their hands and authority over your life. This is an example of a very disempowering saying that leads to indoctrination of a fear-based mentality and giving away the power over one’s own life.

When you come across something that you are familiar with, something that is second nature for you to hear and follow, pause and do a double-take. Ask yourself, whether this is an empowering or disempowering belief and perception that is propagated here or whether this saying, this proverb is something that holds a fundamental truth and value beyond the seemingly obvious.

It is always, in any context, advisable to deal mindfully with words, whether they yours or someone else’s, or a universally accepted message, such as proverbs. Never take things blindly at face-value, because if you look deeper, dig beyond the surface, question and probe, chances are, you will find yourself leading a much more empowered, self-governed and fulfilled life.

Which proverbs do you use and in what context?

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