The tree of happiness flowers and fruits most abundantly for the creative man
The Aphorisms, Proverbs, Observations, Musings, Maxims, Axioms, Ponderings, Perceptions, Intuitions and well mull-overed Beliefs of one Graham Leslie McCallum
Never take to the air unless you have a place to land.
Words are Spirit – for they live for all eternity, even though the tongue that uttered them, and the hands that wrote them, and the mind that thought them has long since perished.
The pursuit of happiness is preceded by the pursuit for food, water and shelter.
Happiness is a by-product of self-sacrifice.
Happy the man with a path to walk, a field to plough, a plot to plant, a foundation to build and a room wherein to rest.
A true charismatic persuades and leads through humble servanthood; reject any other as a charlatan.
The best soap is a tin of paint.
Those that lead – tolerate and forgive their own weaknesses and inadequacies; however, they despise and punish even a moment of the same in their followers.
Our instinctual fear of pain and discomfort, are often greater life-sustainers than any intellectual motivator.
Instinctual drives, like hunger, thirst and the need for shelter, is driven by pain.
Those with high pain thresholds have low instinctual drives.
The absence of food is a pang; of water a spasm; of sex and ache; of shelter a throb; of company a hurt; of love a torment; of God an anguish.
An indulgence of the ‘sweet-life’ can be as cloying as a surfeit of candy and cake.
Praise of one’s ancestors is a subtle form of self-praise.
Self-praise is a poison as it primes pride.
Life’s problems are not millstones, but rather anchor-stones.
The fruit of the vine is sweet to the attentive vineyard’s husbandman, but sweeter still to his hardworking labourers.
A prophet of doom is as despised and as lowly as a scarecrow in a field of wheat.
When the wine is drunk and the bread is eaten, no one thanks the scarecrow.
Problems anchor our feet safely in our homes and steadies our hands to our duties.
Health, Wealth, Time and Inclination seldom co-incide in one’s life, however when they do, one can move mountains.
Sweet music is composed of sweet sounds – just as sweet flowers make sweet honey – so too sweet thoughts, they make for a sweet life.
Sweet thoughts by day – sweet dreams by night.
Each day we write the story of our lives. Some days are romances, some days comedies, while others are histories and even tragedies. Escape life through whatever means – and your storybook will be filled with blank pages.
The Puppet Master is not loved by his puppets. Freewill is a pre-requisite to loving. One cannot be compelled to love.
Many people like nothing better than someone else making all decisions for them. If they could, they would even turn God into a puppet master and themselves into unthinking puppets.
We discover our beginnings at our endings.
Often – it is easier to define something by what it is not, rather than by what it is.
Emotionally stingy people, almost invariably, are stingy with money too.
A braggart only boasts to his superiors.
We learn appreciation and gratitude through having experienced deprivation and need.
Gardens are the most prolific generators of the proverbial, of exhortations, associations and analogy.
Parables, Sayings and Proverbs are born in farm yards, fields and gardens.
How can one understand desire without first having experienced need.
The fastest way to get from A to Z is to learn the alphabet.
There is no better flux than persecution in welding individuals together.
A group’s definition might be no more than a shared persecution.
Even persecution can birth humour.
The strings of full purses are seldom loosened.
The persecuted can be among the worst of persecutors.
So rich a tapestry is nature, that sometimes the eyes must take pause and rest from looking.
The eyes see even in sleep.
We are always youthful in our dreams. The dreamlife never treads the weary years and therefore never ages.
The gayest of us have persecution and sadness as their foundations.
Many a solution was birthed during a night of sleep.
The fine line between nature and nurture is a jagged one.
To debate without emotive language is akin to dueling with a blunted sword.
I do not trust the emotional depth of anyone who takes departure from me without looking back and waving goodbye.
National Myths are mere manifestations of characteristics absent in the national character and psyche. They indicate more what nations would like to be than what they are.
Time is a relative, who comes to visit and doesn’t leave.
Curiosity is a state of Intelligence.
Plain bread, rice and potatoes afford the taste buds respite.
The Winter is Nature’s Sabbath.
Ugly is not a synonym for evil.
Much of life can be summed up in one symbol – ?
The opposite of death is not life but conception.
In between conception and death is a whole lot of living.
Wise politicians consider the dumbing-down of the young male population an important aspect of governing. This is achieved through mindless media, sports and recreation. Rome knew this well and provided for it at the games.
Many people discard democracy like a woolen blanket on a warm night.
The truly good can do but good.
The present, need be no less romantic than the past.
Why is it that those who infect others with colds and influenzas invariably have little sympathy on those wretches who they have so sorely afflicted.
Aging does not advance with a slow and steady, but rather in splutters and spurts, in stops and starts.
Aging is not a progression but rather a regression.
People most admire that which is unattainable.
The horse has advanced mankind to the same degree that it has disadvantaged man. As many horses have pulled ploughs as have galloped into wars.
Good Health has no conception of its fortunate state. In this it is akin to Youth. Ill Health perceives and ponders itself, much like Old Age.
Sympathy may be learnt, but not Empathy – it is a given.
Those who are empathic walk on wounded feet, give with pierced hands, ponder with bleeding brows.
Empathy is a thorny way and a stony road; and those who tread this ways, walk the path of suffering.
Objectivity is improved by distance from the object.
Abused children are quickly taught not to cry. It is their first lesson in their sad lives, and one they quickly learn.
In old age we become children and our children become our parents.
For some people, their financial success is driven more by a fear of poverty than a love of money.
Some personalities are arch enemies of each other. They are arrayed for battle and there can be no peaceful outcomes.
There is every reason to believe, that should we have been born into a culture or people whom we despise, then we would be what we despise.
Design is the search for the Hands of God in the world.
So much of life is peripheral – like the skin of an apple or orange. So much is unseen, and to be appreciated, the peripheral must be pierced.
One stands a 100% better chance of succeeding, simply by making a start.
The automatic response of the innocent when falsely accused is first astonishment, then followed by indignation.
The guilty proclaim innocence more loudly than do the innocent.
To rise above oneself one must first lower oneself.
No one transcends themselves without having first lowered themselves onto their knees.
Good Knowledge is always multi-sourced.
Even when carefully suppressed, the subconscious of the guilty cries out loudly for revelation. The clues to dark secrets are visible and audible to the sharp-eyed and keen-eared.
Appetite is raised by want, assuaged by moderation, but spoilt by indulgence.
A glut of good things – suppresses appetite and desire.
Perhaps the full value of life can only be appreciated when one is about to lose it.
The execution of Mathematics and Science requires discipline; while Art requires pleasure.
Perhaps the greatest thief of all times has been the English language.
The prototype for a house is not a hut but a cave.
The womb of Invention is Play.
Only the playfully-minded have the ability to leapfrog intuitively.
The ear is to the drum, as the eye is to the mirror.
The great leveling hand of the Secular is as heavy as any religious body is or ever has been.
One primarily has one’s own point of view; but it is possible to transcend oneself through empathy and sensitivity to view the world through another’s eyes.
The results of co-operation exceeds that of competition.
It is possible to adore something as fervently as one despises the same.
Only when mankind faces a common enemy will tribalism, racialism and nationalism disappear.
The most effective leaders are people with high levels of shame-ability. A lack of shame creates a tyrant.
When searching for a lost item – it is always best to first fix in one’s mind the dimensions, shape, form, texture and colour of what is lost, before commencing the search. By doing this one increases one’s chance of success.
Deeds only have meaning in regards to their repercussions and outcomes.
In a completely natural environment, man’s base instincts are natural. However in a civilised environment – they are mostly obstructive, and then deemed to be unlawful.
Oh! vexing vanity – that spurs me on one day and reins me in the next.
Liberty and not discipline creates an environment for order to exist. And when it does, it creates even greater liberty. Invariably those governments and institutions that have chosen discipline to create order have resulted in anarchy.
There are many psychopaths who have marched across the pages of history books masked as national heroes.
Any History written by by a politician, prince or potentate, cannot be trusted as being factual.
Accomplishment lies not in having reached the apex of one’s accent, much more so in having negotiated one’s descent.
Disdain is merely a shield behind which many a naked soul takes shelter, and snobbery a satin cloak that conceals a fragile psyche. This is a truth, that we are more exposed by what we choose to don.
The best time to contemplate infinity and eternity is outside, on your back, underneath a starry night sky.
Hypocrisy is a boomerang, no sooner delivered then returned.
Individuality in a person is often the result of isolation, either situational, imposed or willed.
Poverty can only exist in the presence of wealth and prosperity.
Satisfaction with little is not poverty, neither is dissatisfaction with sufficiency.
More people are born into poverty than ever fall into poverty.
The poor can be as obsessed with money as are the wealthy.
Many people who who cannot or are unwilling to escape poverty, resent or prevent any of their community who does or attempts to escape. They become the claws of poverty.
Often, Wealth stands proud and aloof, atop a foundation of Poverty.
Wealth can imprison the soul, while poverty can free it.
Poverty is often characterised by an indulgence in self-pity.
There is a very narrow gap one may cross between feeling envy and hatred for those who have what you do not.
The hatred felt by the poor for the rich is as sinful as the disdain felt by the rich for the poor.
It is not true to believe everyone can lift themselves out of poverty. Disability, and the situation of one’s birth, and one’s background can predetermine one to a life time of poverty.
Poverty in itself is not shameful, even if the rich or even the poor see it as such.
Those who fall into poverty feel the effects of poverty more keenly that do those born into poverty.
One may build upon a foundation of poverty, but not one of excess.
The fear of Historians is that an important event or a significant person will be eternally forgotten.
Just as an organised man will box or package all he possesses, so too the organised mind, which by methodical storage maintains what it has accumulated, and thus speeds up the retrieval of that information.
A busy and occupied mind when rested in sleep dreams more than that of an idle mind, for dreaming is the pigeonholing of all that has been thought and experienced during waking hours.
At night, sleep pigeonholes the thoughts of the day, while daylight sets them free to fly.
Fatigue and Sleep locks the wheels of industry, but not the machinery of the mind.
All thoughts like pigeons must come home to roost at nightfall; each to its ordered place. Thus pigeonholed they can rest in necessary isolation until morning when the sun’s light again sets them free to fly and soar with greater and renewed vigour.
Any person or group of people who refrain from integrating themselves into the broader society in which they live must remember that they will pay a grievous price for their isolation. For an unthinking society will deem them disdainful and exact a vengeful price from them.
Pity the group who for the rules of their religion restrict or forbid their integration into broader society. Theirs is the path of persecution.
Many desire what they do not have and give the appearance of admiring what they are striving to attain. However, when they eventually resign themselves to the banality of their situation – their desire becomes dislike and their admiration disdain.
True admiration does not excite ownership. Greed (not admiration) gives birth to possession.
Perhaps our sharpest judgments are reserved for those we know, for our keenest blades were honed on self-loathing.
Faith is the antithesis of instinct.
Our social foibles, even when not purposeful, are often perceived as malicious.
A perception, even when incorrectly deduced, remains factual to the perceiver.
Base instinct is inborn; its execution is evil.
How utterly sad it is for those who cannot cry.
The dividing line between what is cultural and what is instinctual in a person is impossible to ascertain.
Whereas a Dictatorship is the imposed rule of a single tyrant; its lesser evil is Democracy, whose rule is the imposition by a million tyrants.
Although Democracy is an imposition by the majority, it does not imply that what that majority wills is always laudable, honourable or efficacious.
An excess of money can be most deleterious – for the artist stops painting, the baker stops baking, the farmer stops planting, and the sinner stops seeking redemption.
It can be argued that as primates we can only think and act primate, no more, no less. Our reach may therefore only ever be primatial?
Specification requires elimination.
Mastering a discipline often requires that one eliminates the distractions of other disciplines. This is the reason so many masters of art and music were so single-minded.
Every Englishman’s duty is to seek for Arcadia, this is where he will find his true self.
One should pursue contentment with the same intensity as do the faithless ambition.
Contentment is the satisfactory product of sufficiency.
Contentment is the death to ambition.
In most situations in life – one’s only and wisest response is resignation.
The truly great arise from obscurity, others are leaders advantaged by birth.
After all has been stripped away from those who are afflicted, there is always camaraderie.
On hearing bad or shocking personal news, one experiences an unusual freezing of one’s senses, and although one is seeing, one does not observe, and even though one hears one no longer comprehends.
The regular and symmetrical features that determine the attractiveness in a face, are the very same elements that bore and tire the eye.
Appreciation born of the eyes is sooner jaded than that born of the ears.
Sub-cultures and cultural minorities often operate in much the same way as do religious cults, with strict rules and severe penalties for those among them who dare transgress.
Life is a much like a coin – the flip-side to failure is success.
It is well to remember that many successful houses have firm foundations atop the ruins of earlier houses.
The poor seldom admire their benefactors, rather – they often reserve their sharpest disdain for them. For unfortunately, poverty seldom teaches gratitude.
One can see your tomorrows clearly by casting one’s eyes back at your yesterdays.
Intelligence is generally visible in animated and expressive facial expressions.
Intelligence is a light within the eyes.
The passing of time is a torture to the creative and industrious man.
No skill, talent or latent creativity is meaningful or of value – except in application.
Great ideas are like rare and beautiful butterflies, for they rarely settle , but when they do, they settle for a moment only. They must be netted immediately before they fly away, seldom or never to return.
Superlative outcomes, like beautiful butterflies which are born of ugly caterpillars, are always born of humble beginnings.
Most of the bright and shiny ideas dreamed up at night, by daybreak rapidly begin to lose their lustre, and by midmorning are dull and ridiculous. However, if they gain in lustre, then you have discovered a gem of value.
A good idea is like a seed of wheat, that if watered, will germinate, sprout and grow, producing ears of wheat full of additional seeds.
If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, then its Father is Industry.
Inspiration – like raindrops on parched soil.
Creativity is not an indulgence or luxury, but rather it is a necessity.
We often vainly await the correct emotional precipitator before commencing a task. This leads to ennui and procrastination as the correct moment might never arrive. Instead, the perfect emotional state is born after the commencement of the the task.
Talent must be accompanied by humility, for humility has greater value than even the talents of the gifted.
Concentrating on a single musical instrument’s sound from amongst the many in an orchestral arrangement is similar to when our eyes focus on one object from amongst many. That particular object is in sharp focus, but all surrounding objects, though not invisible, are pleasantly blurred. This is why a piece of music can be appreciated differently by different listeners as each chooses to focus differently. Indeed – appreciated differently by the same listener on hearing the same piece of music many times over.
Sound is a collision between a moving and a stationary body.
Oh! what bliss when our obligations are our creative passions. How sad then the artist who must put down his passion to take up the obligatory.
People love Money for it facilitates the acquisition of Beauty.
Beauty can be clearly perceived by the Ugly too.
Beauty is a boring averaging of features – why then its fascination?
Many men have attempted to define a formula for Beauty. They have failed for there is an element to Beauty that is a mystery that cannot be defined.
True facial beauty is an absence of any jarring elements. This is why it pleases briefly than bores.
It is easier to describe what something is not – than it is to describe what something is.
Time and History marches not with Generals and Tyrants, but flies along with the Creative and Inventive individuals of society.
Many ancient monuments have survived the ravages of time, war and cultural changes simply because their enormous scale and magnitude has defied wanton and vandalisitic destruction.
Gardening is by far the most testing of the Arts. It requires the patience of an Oak tree.
Often – the clearest seeing eyes are set in the Ugliest faces.
Jaded Senses lead to dulled Spirits.
One can never be more alive than in the moment of death.
Some are guilty for their deeds; others for what they have not done.
Those who do not are always critical of those who do.
Health and Youth does not ponder its state, like ill-health and Old Age.
Good Health has no consciousness of its fortune. In this it is akin to Youth. In contrast Ill-Health knows its misfortune and in this it is akin to Old Age.
Money corrupts and Fame corrupts absolutely.
This generation thinks it extraordinary to seek the ordinary and the everyday. They have imbibed of the cup of error for they all believe that they are special and entitled.
One of the most valuable gifts a Giver can bestow on his benefactors – is to forget what and to whom he has given.
Many Givers are resented by the Recipients of their largesse – for inadvertently having prevented the recipients from helping themselves.
There is a vicious seed of resentment that is planted by a need and watered by a gift. For the recipient of the the gift resents their helpless estate and then transfers that negative emotion onto their benefactors. This is an evil.
Many creeds, cultures and faiths forbid the hearty interaction with those without their group, Forbidding marriage, company and even the sharing of food. However, show me the Creed that forbids taking money from those without.
Sometimes, even the most carefully worded and expressed thoughts, and even the most gently executed of deeds, can be misconstrued, even misrepresented to the ultimate harm of the bestower and benefactor.
Deeds are born of words, words of thoughts, and thoughts of emotions.
Evil is always most frightfully banal. For it can only present itself as a tedious re-arrangement of its past deeds.
Creation is a Work in Progress.
The Greedy find it as Hard to Give as the Generous to Take. The converse of this are the Greedy, who find as Easy to Take as the Generous find it to Give.
It is the emotional context of our lives that makes us human. No emotionality – No Humanity.
There can be no more valuable cultivation in the minds and lives of children than the cultivation of sympathy.
Two things characterizes all cults – the suspension of critical assessment in its followers, with the transference of the same to a single leader.
If one could create a synthesis of all humanity, of all flesh, of all faces, of all physiques – then one would have recreated ‘Adam’.
Many of the greatest thoughts were conceived on a pillow.
To use a biological comparison – great ideas are conceived of an ovate need and brought to fruition by some seminal action.
The fastest of creatures are also the most beautiful. Speed is therefore Beauty.
Most certainly – a flower has greater value than does a precious gem, for the greatest value is bestowed on what cannot be maintained, not on what can be possessed. It is the brevity of their existence that adds value.
The easiest way to rise in the morning is to rise with the sun.
The most pleasant tasks are those commenced without planning and achieved without deadlines.
The hardest lesson in life – is life.
Are we not all prisoners, and our personalities our prison bars.
The ‘Sel-Fish’ – are a parasitic species.
The Selfish comprehend and regard the importance of others only as far as this effort benefits themselves.
How pompous the person who regards only his own council, and casually dismisses the insight of others, the wisdom of the past, even the brightest luminaries of recorded time.
How well we all identify with the beautiful, the successful and the heroic.
One may err by being either too selfish or by being too generous. The latter is the better fault.
Social embarrassment is felt most acutely when those who witness your fall from grace are those who know you.
Often – merely holding an opinion or expressing a view can open oneself up to the accusation of being arrogant.
Oppressive Governments use many of the same tactics as do the leaders of cults.
The Antidote for Jealousy is Admiration.
Food is perfected by hunger.
The mystery ingredient to a good recipe is hunger.
It should not concern you when those around you need you more, rather – be concerned when they need you less.
As in flowers and as in fruit – and so too with mankind – a second separates perfection from corruption.
Love and passion are superb siblings, but obligation and coercion are poor cousins.
Perhaps we take photographs of each other as a subconscious attempt to immortalise one another.
Cooking is simply Chemistry; with a pinch of Alchemy thrown in as well.
If fine chocolate was the staple of life – we would crave bread.
An ‘Agent Provocateur’ is akin to a ‘Wolf Crier’ for sooner than later, both are ignored.
Patriotism is another name for the deadly sin of Pride.
Whoever first said “Life is a bed of roses” – never pruned a rose bush or picked a rose bud.
We are always young in our dreams.
Even the crippled run in their dreams.
The food of Poetry is Loneliness and Silence.
A Jaded Spirit – the curse of Adulthood.
Many people boast of their ancestry, but how is their inheritance any different from what the lowly worm receives from its parents.
Complacency is another term for Domestic Bliss.
Those who are foremost at Moralisers are foremost at Guilt Transference.
Those who moralise constantly – do so because it is purgative. Their guilt transference is akin to vomiting on others.
In-between Success and Failure, is a whole lot of coping.
All creatures conserve their valuable energy, except man who expends it on trivialities and expire when action is required.
War was invented the day the first farmer stored his grain in a granary.
War is a condition of avarice – the envy of the ‘have-nots’ and greed of the ‘haves’.
A person who does not cherish their mother is either a strange person or a has a strange mother.
Some people disparage wealth only because they do not have it.
Pacifism is either a bed of roses or a bed of nails.
One man’s bed of roses comes at the expense of another man’s path of thorns.
The more I know the less I know I know, and the little that I know informs me that I know little of the little I know.
The path of Wisdom leads back to the simplicity of children.
Never create expectation in the heart of a person, your eventual generosity will not match the expectations of their imaginations.
Pride and Selfishness are the bitter fruits born of the tree of Privilege.
What lessons should be learnt by those born into Privilege – that their fortune is the product of luck and chance.
An idle man delights in the alluring charms and delights of Sleep and surrenders willingly to her seductions; whereas a man of industry despises her entrapments and resists her snares.
There are few things that modify my behaviour more than my personal aversion to my own hypocrisy.
The best time to fall asleep is when Sleep besets you. Tarry a little, and you might have to beg Her to return.
The more one indulges in the great thoughts of other men – the less one has of one’s own.
Fatalism never planted a tree.
In life our bodies are the tombs of our spirits, but in death our graves are the dusty holders of our bodies.
Silence kept is a better comment then any words a tongue foment.
An idea is like a seed of wheat.When it is sprouted and grown, it gives life to more ideas, like an ear of wheat it is multiplied.
Ideas are like rare and exotic butterflies for they seldom settle, and if they do, have to be netted immediately, or they fly off and sometimes never return. A notebook and pen is like a net. One has to keep them handy for fast-flying ideas, even the moths that fly by night.
There is only one commonality between selfishness and generosity, and that is that they both generate greater and greater levels of themselves when indulged in.
We often vainly wait for the correct emotional precipitator before taking action. This leads to ennui and procrastination. Rather – the correct emotional state of mind precipitates out of action begun.
Often – people only want to hear your opinion and advice only as far as it concurs with their own.
One learns Gratitude by being a Giver.
The joy of learning is not in the knowing, but rather in the getting to know.
Such is the nature of man – that even discriminators can be discriminated against.
The word ‘house’ and the word ‘home’ are not synonyms. The former is a building, while the latter is a residence for the heart.
Grace is Generosity amplified.
The wonder of Youth is only realized in adulthood, the brightness of that flame seen only by aging eyes.
It is often easier to love some people than it is to like them.
One price attached to knowledge is that the possessor forever feels strangely embarrassed to be human.
One can feel awfully guilty and terribly indebted when taking one’s pulse and reflecting on just how hard one’s heart has to work.
One’s personal faults are like the blind-spots in our vision.
The antidote for a jealous heart is a complimentary tongue.
Gratitude withheld from the Giver is a form of spiteful Theft.
Great Talent must be accompanied with great Humility.
The wages of negligence is chaos.
Ambition is a cuckoo fledgling – it does not tolerate competition nor companionship.
Often – Intelligence in another can be assessed by an animated and expressive face.
Gossip is often the result of a diminishing personal life, the product of reduced personal experience.
The wealthy have a preoccupation with the mystique of exclusivity. They create this by the appropriation of beautiful items to surround themselves, the kind created by artists and craftsmen. Hypocritically, this is followed up by the exclusion of the very people who created their surroundings.
Wealthy and Beautiful people prefer to be admired at a distance.
Beauty is an exacting mistress. Those she blesses pay a costly price in old age when she withholds her affections. In contrast those afflicted with ugliness cannot lose what they never possessed, and find peace.
Faith stands up and walks when Intellect falls to the ground.
Intellect walks on feet, while Faith flies on wings.
Faith cannot sacrifice intellect, anymore than Intellect can sacrifice Faith.
Many people have gained in death the prestige that in life they lacked.
Pride in one’s illustrious past is as vacuous as pride in one’s imagined future.
Anyone who demands your complete trust should not be trusted at all.
The greatest and most noble deeds were not executed in the presence of admiring crowds. Rather, later generations raised them to eminence.
A lazy man might invent a tool, but it takes an energetic man to use it.
Clean and clear intention, divorced of obligation, coercion, blackmail or force, is one of the finest indicators of true love.
Free will allows one to love freely.
Even the ignorant can be proud of their ignorance.
Sloth only knows the years and decades, while Industry counts the minutes and seconds.
Never feed people’s imagination with negative comments about oneself through a habit of self-deprecation. Even though they are said in jest, for others will deem them to hold and element of truth and thus you will have condemned yourself.
Any vice coupled to ignorance is made worse.
Even the Slothful are energetic at inventing ways to ease their lives.
People who think without emotion find it as difficult to emote without thinking.
Prejudice borne of inferiority can be far more malignant than that borne of superiority.
The psychological satisfaction of eating is in the swallowing, and secondly in the tasting.