From the Bible to ancient cultures around the world proverbs bring palatable morsels of wisdom.. Or as the dictionary defines:
Definition of proverb – a short, well-known saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice.
More importantly than knowing several proverbs to pull out on the right occasion is the actual act of living the proverb. Grandmother Wilson didn’t just recite proverbs about decency and good sense, she lived by them. There is a big difference.
One of my favorite proverbs is the one I selected for the title photo: “Judge not your beauty by the number of people who look at you, but by the number of people who smile at you.” African Proverb
How many times have you entered a room…not wanting particularly anyone to notice you (negatively or positively) but simply to embrace your presence with smiles of friendship and acceptance? Isn’t that the true definition of beauty? The beauty of friendship…relationships?
Earlier in the summer I picked up a copy of Magnolia Magazine before going to an appointment that I knew would require some intervals of waiting time. At that point Jo Anne Gaines was still expecting…of course, now, a beautiful bouncy boy completes the Gaines family with five children in tow.
I almost threw the out-dated magazine away over the weekend…but I am in between books and needed something to keep my reading appetite satisfied.
When I flipped to the last page there was a “Magnolia Manifesto” that the editors, writers, reporters, photographers, etc. have agreed upon as a belief statement for the magazine. I loved all 10 belief statements..but two stood out, for me, because of a twist on words. (Remember I am the “Word Nerd”…can’t help myself.)
-that newer isn’t always better and that there is something inherently good in hard work.
–that friends who feel like family are the best kind of friends and that nothing matters more than family.
–that today is a gift and that every day miracles are scattered about if only we have eyes to see them.
-in seeking the balance between hustle and rest and striving… to be passionate about all.
*-that failure needn’t be a negative thing; rather, we learn from our mistakes and fail smarter the next time.
(Fail smarter…aren’t we supposed to learn from our mistakes as we go through life…they are there to teach us and steer us in the right direction if we accept our mistakes with thankfulness for the knowledge?)
–in doing work that we love and, in choosing that, nudging others toward doing what they love too.
-in courage, in cartwheeling past our comfort zones and trying something a little bit scary every day.
–in subtle beauty, the kind that doesn’t deteriorate with age or wear.
–and of all heroic pursuits large or small, we believe there may be none greater than a life well loved.
A “life well loved”….not just the more familiar “A life well lived,” but loved. I can’t think of a better inscription on a tombstone….“A Life Well Loved”
So until tomorrow….
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” (Mother Teresa)
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh