Tag Archives: Quote

A Collection of Scriptures for Guidance: Primal Religions, Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I shared something that I wrote for a paper this semester about Canada needing to diversify its export strategy. The recent news of Edward Snowden reminded me of a paper I wrote this semester for a different course. Writing both of those posts reminded me that I’ve written plenty of papers that you might find interesting, so I thought I’d dig into my old files and see what’s worth sharing.

When I was still a doctoral candidate at Sofia University, one of the courses I completed was “World Religions.” This was one of the classes I enjoyed the most during my time at Sofia University. I’d never had such broad exposure to the world’s religions before and this class really allowed me to gain a better understanding of them.

One of the papers I wrote for that class really tied in the fact that I was in a clinical psychology PhD program. The purpose of the paper was to collect quotes from scriptures of the various world religions that I could use with clients/patients when I became a therapist. While I’m no longer pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, the quotes I collected could certainly be of use, so I thought I’d share them here.

As the title of this post suggests, the quotes in today’s post are geared towards “primal religions.” Enjoy!

Anger

The fly cannot be driven away by getting angry at it. (Idoma Proverb, Nigeria)

When a man goes to sacrifice he must remain peaceful, without a hot heart. He must stay thus for at least a day. If he quarrels on that day or is hot in his heart he becomes sick and destroys the words of the lineage and of the sacrifice. (Luhya Saying, Kenya)

Death

Onyame does not die, I will therefore not die. (Akan Proverb, Ghana)

Some day the Great Chief Above will overturn the mountains and the rocks. Then the spirits that once lived in the bones buried there will go back into them. At present those spirits live in the tops of the mountains, watching their children on earth and waiting for the great change which is to come. The voices of these spirits can be heard in the mountains at all times. Mourners who wail for their dead hear spirit voices reply, and thus they know that their lost ones are always near. (Yakima Tradition)

Grief

Abuk, mother of Deng,
Leave your home in the sky and come to work in our homes,
Make our country to become clean like this original home of Deng,
Come make our country as one: the country of Akwol
Is not as one, either by night or by day,
The child called Deng, his face has become sad,
The children of Akwol have bewildered their Chief’s mind. (Dinka Song, Sudan)

It is Important to Speak, but not More Important than it is to Listen

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about leadership and followership, the overwhelming majority of literature dedicated to leadership, and the dearth of literature dedicated to followership. When writing that post, it reminded me of the same relationship between speaking and listening. That is, how much literature do we see dedicated to speaking or communicating and how much do we see dedicated to listening?

Don’t get me wrong, I think that communication is an essential part of the human experience, but dont we think that learning to listen should be equally (if not more?) important than speaking. We can make the same comparison we did with leadership: how much time do we spend speaking in relation to how much time we spend listening? We spend far more of our time listening. So, shouldn’t it follow that we need to learn how to be excellent listeners?

Of course, if we don’t know how to speak (at all) then the listening is futile, but I suspect that if the majority of people were excellent listeners, we might be able to aid the speaker in communicating their point. Just as I made the case with followers who can make a leader better, I think that listeners can make a speaker better, too.

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A slight tangent: how many courses are there in communication? There are probably quite a few more than there are in listening. In fact, there’s even an entire academic discipline dedicated to communication. Is there one for listening? Some may argue that clinical/counseling psychology might be how listening creeps its way into an academic discipline, but that’s only one piece of the training for clinical/counseling psychologists. It’s important to note that psychologists who don’t go the route of counseling won’t get this kind of training, so it’s necessary to specify clinical/counseling.

I like to think I’m a pretty good listener (and have been given affirmative feedback), but I don’t doubt that I would benefit from the insights of academic research on listening. In fact, I bet we all could benefit from academic research on listening. Until then, we’ll have to rely on the wisdom of quotes:

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” – Albert Einstein

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” – Andre Gide

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey

“We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.” – Diogenes Laërtius

And one last one that I really like:

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” – M. Scott Peck