Posts Tagged ‘proverbs’

I like short truth. Don’t you? Don’t you just love it when just a few words get it right?

As a writer I try to cultivate the art of brevity. My favorite way to do that is to write Thought Proverbs, aphorisms and epigrams.

Here are a few of my most recent. Hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think by posting a comment or choosing a favorite. Thanks!

Lives slow, die fast, leave a fully used corpse.

Knock it down; drag it out; don’t forget to stomp on it.

Achieve great things — being content.

A saying is a slaying; it massacres untruth.

All snide remarks originate in serious forethoughts.

Some charm with leg and arm, and some with loyalty.

The wise crack; fools remain grimly reformative.

Wonder through windows; will yourself through walls.

Agency eats fate for breakfast, chance for lunch and apathy for dinner. 

It takes guts to shut up.

All things talk; very few things listen.

Sorry– it’s a form of glory. 

Saying sorry is easy, being sorry more like queazy. 

To annihilate the efficacy of apology, persistently offend. 

A feeling sends us reeling; a thought catches us.  

Strive not for a great nation; labor mightily for a great world. 

All speakers elaborate; the really good ones lie shamelessly.

Embellish all your stories; this will engender widespread approval and universal credibility.

The mind and heart must both collude to have a shot at quietude.

I am only as safe to you as I am to me. 

Telling the truth will earn you public enemies; lying will earn you private ones.

Fame is height, for the short. 

Much of what we don’t know about others we don’t want to.

We relieve one end in private, spew from the other in public.

Eat sand; blast injustice.

Be present; gifts surround you.

Conversations are gifts, points of view, largesse.

To book a colonoscopy is brave; to actually go to one shows a stunning lack of self-regard.

Know before you go. 

To live fully, quit thinking overly.

The most addictive sedative is simply the repetitive.

Knock and you will be denied; pull out your wallet, and it will be given unto you. 

Every family silence tilts towards a family tragedy. 

The theft of depth leaves us bereft. 

Urgency loves an emergency. 

Wisdom lies beyond policy.

Our soul is always trying to tell us what we need.

Everything carries a song; not everything sings it.

A bed is safe, but a world is an adventure.

To suffer is to discover ourselves.

Think fast; choose slow. 

As long as one person is empty none of us are full.

If you like these more can be found on my Proverbs blog site at the following link. Once on the site, pick a word that looks interesting to you from the topic list on the left and click to see proverbs related to that word.

Short Grace

Posted: October 28, 2017 in poverbs, proverbs
Tags: , ,

Yesterday I drove my daughter to a dance, then later in the day picked her up from the E Street trolley station as she came back home.

While she was on the trolley, we kept in touch by texting, and I watched her progress on the Find My Friends app on my phone. When she accidentally took the wrong trolley to a rough and tough part of town, I called her, talked her down, and helped her get back on the other side of the tracks and headed for home.

I was relieved when she was finally safely in my car, and we gave a little hug. We stopped and got her her favorite lunch. She hadn’t eaten much all day.

My wife tells her all the time, “Your dad adores you!”  I do. Grace.

Yesterday, I did one other small thing. I wrote a set of thought-proverbs — as I so often do to sooth my soul — my five-hundredth set of proverbs, which means that I have now cranked out 5,000 plus thought-proverbs, quasi-epigrams, smart-assisms, tartlies and mini-aphorisms since I began in early 2011.

I love my daughters, both of them. I nurture them. I also love my axiomatic truths — and nurture them too — my short truths, brief truths, smallish quips, wititudes and truths-micro. I am a fan of Emily, Solomon, Ben, William, Mark and Leo, G.K., Jesus, Peter and Soren, they have inspired me, especially when they came at life shortly.

I began by simply extracting a few of my best lines from my personal journals, then got phrase-crazy and work berserk and began to perfect the art of blunt, brief and buzzy — unnoticed.

Thus, a secret milestone, 5,000  —   dined, lined and thrice refined.

I decided to celebrate the five-hundredth category with a notable topic, “grace.” And so I  talked it in, fed it lunch and brought it home with a deep sense of personal satisfaction.

Here she is friends.

Short grace, with a small hug.

I love these. I love them all. I hope you do too.


Grace — it is the means by which the unacceptable become the respectable.

Defeat your oppressor; use grace, and some pressure.

What saves us is grace — from relational mace.

Humor is the highest form of grace.

Too much grace and they’ll clear out the place.

The art is grace, with a straight face.

The truth is raspy; grace quite ghastly.

Quality not grace, defines the workplace.

Grace isn’t equilibrium; it spins within declivium.

Grace lifts the place, raises the face.

There, but for the grace of God, go the successful.

Proverbs — grace shards.

You can find my other 5,000 thought-proverbs at

Wise stuff is good stuff.

Last night I thought of all the good mayors in Mexico who have been murdered in the drug wars. Wow, tough their families and their towns.

Today I found myself fascinated by the ebook publishing phenomena. We read differently now, on Kindles and Nooks and ipads, and so I must think differently as a reader, a print consumer and a writer.

I love to notice it, life, the changes, and think about how to respond.

It comes to me more and more, that to be wise is to realize that nothing in life is unworthy of my attention. Nothing is mere background. Everything qualifies as meriting focus.

I ache for it. All who want to know do  —  new experiences, fresh observations, other interpretations, possible theories, startling conclusions, needed disambiguations of the everyday and familiar and miraculous too.

Wise acknowledges it all, the supernatural and the  human.

The other day a college aged girl told me that she eventually dumped all boys because they simply, in the end, didn’t measure up to her high standards. She said it, then said she didn’t want to be like that anymore.

Why? She realized that her perfectionism was sabotaging perfectly good opportunities for friendships. Bingo. Get wiser, be more tolerant.

In the 17th Century Fenelon had this figured out, noting that perfection is the only thing perfectly tolerant of imperfection. Whoohoo! Good! Nice!  People so misjudge the judgments of the ultimate judge by thinking him mainly judgmental in nature.

And the  wise girl get it as she  is interested it all,  in shadows on her backyard fence and in the shadowy projection of her own desire to be perfect onto others.  A trophy boyfriend; the secure woman doesn’t need it.

Here is the deal; to get wise  is to get fascinated with oneself and everything within ones imperfect realm.

Eugene Peterson, in his introduction to the wisdom literature of The Message  version of the Bible comments that “Wisdom insists that, “nothing in human experience can be omitted or slighted.”

So wisdom literature, the psalms and proverbs, take on all topics and all particulars that wisdom can think of.  Wisdom is fascinated by both the large idea of  science and by the small observation of the micro-hairs on the bottle fly’s feet.

Peterson observes that this comprehensive perspective on life is the content of the Biblical psalms. “The Psalm are indiscriminate in their subject matter — complaint and thanks, doubt and anger, outcries of pain and outbursts of joy, quiet reflection and boisterous worship. If it is human, it qualifies.”

Beautiful, neutral, ugly, all of it, yes!

If it is human, it qualifies for a psalm, for a proverb, for a second look, for inclusion into the canon of what is spiritual.

Jesus turned water into wine at Cana. The supernatural coexisted with the mundane. It was a miracle of a most everyday and normal kind, for as C. S. Lewis has pointed out, in the fields grapes left begin to turn into wine naturally.

Do we want to be wise, to traffic daily in wise stuff? Then we must reject nothing as unworthy of thought, hope, redemption, promise.

Think broadly and beyond.


wise stuff

Posted: February 21, 2011 in thriving
Tags: , , , ,

Life is a firehose of information but sometimes we just want a sweet drop of truth. I saw a hummingbird dip its food snagger in a red honeysuckle flower recently. Yum! One sip! Good!

I ran into a couple who had just celebrated fifty years of marriage this week. They agreed that to do that, they had done some serious shutting up. Less is more, over the long haul.

Sometimes we want for small when buried in too much big. Yesterday after being social all day, my pajamas and my bed and my laptop were just right to help me restore.  Simple beats complex, at the end of most days.

In the end, I went to sleep. We all do, always. Sleep is a good simple for it is simply accepting  the day. It is more; the simple act of going to bed each night is preparation for death, the moment when we give in to what was, with no more complicated attempts to change that.

Wise stuff? We need it. More. It explains the world.

Think elegant explanations, like Kepler’s elliptical orbit of the planets,; the beauty is often in the simplicity.

And so, we love a theory and we love a proverb. Short truth delights by telling all with some. We call such collected truth, wisdom literature.

Wisdom literature is ancient, oral, axiomatic, classic, lasting.  It is often pithy, punchy, with a pinch of sarcasm, wit and humor tossed in for seasoning. It skewers us, in a way we like, stabbing sence into our psyches. It shapens up  the mundane into the  sublime.

Want some? 

I invite you to visit