Proverbs For The Ages

Short Sentence, Long Experience

proverbsEvery nation has its proverbs, sayings and folklore that generation after generation pass on to the young ones. Regardless of the language you might speak, there are proverbs that transcend nationalities and are shared by different nations – in their own tongue.

A proverb is a short, pithy statement of a general truth, one that condenses common experience into memorable form. Or, as defined by Miguel de Cervantes, ‘a short sentence based on long experience.’

As a Jamaica by birth, there are many such proverbs that grandparents mainly will use with the young ones, especially when they are being troublesome. Then there are the ones that you hear when the going gets tough. These are more motivational in nature, a local and folksy way of telling you to “take heart.” In my country of birth, one folklorist, the late Louise Bennett-Coverly, who was a pioneer in this area. While she is nowhere as popular as another of my compatriot, Bob Marley, she did as much as he did to promote the Jamaican culture and patois internationally. According to one source, “she was instrumental in having this “dialect” of the people given literary recognition in its own right.” Read more about her here.

Tuesday Proverbs

jamaicaEvery Tuesday, I share what I call a Jamaican proverb or saying with you. This is my culture and so the best way for me to communicate an age-old wisdom. Mondays through Friday, Weekday Wisdom© is emailed to you and while that is a bit of motivation to support you through your working day, Tuesday Thought© is meant to invite you into another culture, take a glimpse at how other nation’s think and see what, if any, similarities with your own. More than that, these Tuesday Thoughts, shared and explained in a video is another way for all of us to understand deeper the events of life and how we might best grow through the more challenging ones.

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Last week, I shared with you a proverb about how to be responsive to opportunities or your affairs before they go sore or rot. Some of you misinterpreted or maybe did not understand my Jamaican accent and thought it was more concerned with real cooking of raw meat. And that is the point of the exercise – to think deeper, go beyond the obvious. That is what proverbs and folklore invite us to do.

Today’s Tuesday Thought© is this:

“Poun ah fret cyaan pay ownse a dett.” Translation: “One pound of fretting cannot pay one ounce of debt.”

We all have been there and done that – try to clear our debts or problems by fretting about them. Watch the video and see why this is an absolute waste of time:

Do join me next week for Tuesday Thought©. Better yet, why not join this community and receive my monthly newsletter, that includes an affirmation poster, as well as Weekday Wisdom© and access to all my E-Books? Sign-up today and let us Sit & Chat every day of the week. Don’t fret, your privacy is protected and I will never spam you.


Claudette P. Esterine


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39 thoughts on “Proverbs For The Ages

  1. I definitely know worrying doesn’t improve the situation but well some people are just worry warts. But that being said I think knowing that and trying to control it is best. Thanks for reminding me not to worry.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome Nickely! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  2. delainemyles

    Love love! As a fellow Jamaican, this post brings back memories, I love my culture

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad I was able to take you back Delaine! 🙂

  3. I’m Haitian and I know in my culture we are big in proverbs. I haven’t heard your Tuesday’s proverbs before. But I love it because it makes sense. All the worrying and fretting won’t amount to nothing if you don’t try to make a change. In my case I do a lot of fretting about my DS business yet I will go days and not really actively doing anything to make my business better. Btw congrats on the new position! =)

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for the congratulations, it is most appreciated. Regarding fretting – that is the thing with it, it immobilizes you a lot of the times. When I feel myself getting into that mode, I quickly turn it into energy to take care of my business! 🙂

  4. My friend Colette (blogger with Jamaica in her title, sort of… ) might love this.. I’m going to send her the link! Very cool. 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Oh, cool! 🙂 Thanks.

  5. I tell my boyfriend this all the time. Worrying doesn’t improve the situation!

    1. Ms Claudette

      And he is having a hard time believing you? Lead by example then Liz. 🙂

  6. Very inspiring lecture, I love the quote I think is very true.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad you liked, although it wasn’t a lecture. 🙂

  7. Ms Claudette, I absolutely love that quote! We have been fretting this past week to say the least. But it won’t get us anywhere. Time to tackle it the right way.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad that you found value in it Jenn! 🙂 I really hope you will let go of some of the worry this week and relax into allowing Life to unfold for you. 🙂

  8. It is hard but I try to not worry about the things I can no longer control. This is difficult sometimes and there is always an occasion where worrying takes over everything.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, worrying can become such a part of our way of operating that it is hard to kick. However, when you learn how to (and it is a gradual process) you will wonder how you got so hooked in the first place. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  9. Worrying does not add anything to you but takes away so much. I often hear persons say things like “I am just a worrier” as if it is a badge of honor. Yes we need to plan but there is no point worrying over something that you can do nothing about. Do what you can and leave the rest…I don’t want any frown lines on my beautiful face…lolrotf

    1. Ms Claudette

      I used to wear that badge, until it burned a hole in my chest (ulcer and other ailments)! Glad the day I gave it up! 🙂

      1. I am glad too Claudette…moving right along

        1. Ms Claudette

          Too funny! 🙂

  10. Worrying is so not my style… Rather spend time enjoying life! Great article.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You and I both! Gave up worrying some time ago, 🙂

  11. I love exploring other cultures, so I always enjoy reading your post! And I fully agree with the fact that it makes no sense to worry about things you have no control, just because there’s nothing you can do about them and nothing can be changed.Time spent on something you have no control over is time wasted.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Makes no sense at all to worry! Thanks for adding that perspective Euge! 🙂

  12. I have learned to stop worrying about the things I can’t control.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Great lesson to learn! 🙂

  13. April Grant

    Such a great post. I’m so glad that every tuesday you shared a post like this.It makes me inspired

    1. Ms Claudette

      April, you have blessed me so much with those words! Thank you for them and the visit. 🙂

  14. Elizabeth O.

    I grew up hearing a lot of these things as well. They are always meant to guide us and keep us motivated. It’s nice to hear these things when you’re facing challenges. And the message is always clear, It’s all going to be okay, just don’t give up.

    1. Ms Claudette

      They are absolutely wonderful Elizabeth, even when you don’t necessarily agree or we have evolved from those ways of thinking. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  15. I am all for going back to your roots. This is a great post

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you very much! 🙂

  16. I love the way this tells me not to worry. Proverbs are awesome teachings

    1. Ms Claudette

      Aren’t they just, Tara? I love them!

  17. Love that you are going back to your roots and its easier said than done I need to stop overthinking things and worrying that me not being able to control all situations is a mark of failure because it is not!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Ana and yes, overthinking leads to greater worrying. It is best to “go with the flow,” as corny and hard as that may be. Much love and blessings. 🙂

  18. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I agree! It makes no sense to worry about things you can’t control!

    1. Ms Claudette

      None whatsoever! 🙂

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