Mon | Mar 20, 2023

Old adages for life

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Hello, mi neighbour! I came across this Jamaican proverb recently: "Big Massa gi ebry man im own a mout' fi swallow im own duckunoo." The young might not understand it readily but those who grew up in an era when, especially parents, used proverbs to warn children, should.

This communication tool is used to transmit very critical messages in a humorous way, thus lightening the mood and making the message more acceptable. They are usually words of wisdom which force us to think and help us to make good decisions.

Every proverb tells a story - they are born of years of experience. They address issues of relationships, morality, finance, family, politics, business, employment, leadership, success, failure, you name it. If you would be wise, find a good old neighbour, sit at his/her feet and learn some good old proverbs that will add value to your life.

Now back to my opening proverb: "Big Massa gi every man im own a mout' fi swallow im own duckunoo." You may offer your own interpretation but here is a popular one: "God blessed everyone with talents which they should endeavour to use." A talent is one's natural ability to perform certain activities even without training. It's a reflection of how we have been hard-wired by the Creator. A man who is talented in a particular field will excel when trained. He is expected to offer more to the world than others in a similar field.

find, use talent

The proverb being examined here encourages everyone to find that talent and use it to generate income. The habitual beggars and the "nutten nah gwan fi me, wha yuh can do fi me" group who think that others should fend for them are included. They just need to embark on a talent search. That talent could be laying there dormant, waiting on a little stimulation. Just take an inner peep and you will see how gifted you are.

Since we were all given at least one talent to earn a living, no one should go hungry. Yet, there are so many hungry people in the world. Why? Apart from those circumstances beyond our capacity to comprehend, the reason why so many people are starving is that the scale of indifference is still over their eyes. Let's be good neighbours and help them to remove those scales. Meanwhile, please help those from the list above as we say thanks to others.

Old adages for life

Here are a few adages to take you through the week

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent, and doing what is impossible for talent is genius.

He is a wise man who learns from other's experience.

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.

Many receive advice, but only the wise profit from it.

Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.

Give to the world the best you have, and the best of the results will come back to you.

The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Good neighbours

Ms Maitland, St Catherine, for contributing to the nutritional needs of a neighbour.

Neighbour, Trelawny, for giving a television to a parishioner.

Ms Flemings, Westmoreland, for donating a wheelchair to neighbour in St James.

Ms Myrtle, St Andrew, for giving a wheelchair to neighbour.

Nadine, St Catherine, for offering a pram and baby clothing to a neighbour.

Neighbour in need

Phillip, St Mary, father of six - needs clothing for children ages six to 17.

Miss Myrtle, Kingston, senior citizen, needs a stove.

Sandra, St Ann, fire victim - needs furniture.

Kishana, Portland, needs school uniforms for boys ages 14 and 10, size four and a half shoes for school.

Ms Harrison, seeking a wheelchair to help father move around. He suffered a stroke in February and lost the use of his legs

Marie - needs a stove and a small refrigerator, but can't afford to buy same at this time.

To help us, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR, c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; email: