Snappy wisdom. Where do you go for yours? January 9, 2017 News We like our proverbs. Or as they’re called on the internet these days, ‘inspirational sayings’. Twitter and Facebook are awash with them, nuggets of wisdom accompanied by a picture of a sunset or cute puppy in a clothes basket. But there are other places you can go for your proverbs – like Durham Cathedral library, for instance, which houses forty six Anglo-Saxon favourites from the 11th century, when monks acted as the internet, passing information on through the writing of manuscripts. ‘No one can have a mouth full of flour and also blow on a fire’, warns of the dangers of doing two things at once. That’s a good one for our distracted society. Focus! Or, ‘Sometimes people are most thirsty after drinking mead’, says another, reminding us how one drink (or desire) leads to another, rather than leaving us content. I like, ‘Better to be often loaded than overloaded’ which recommends the virtue of doing things step by step… and patience. Having everything suddenly now is not always the happiest way. While for the warrior, there’s this advice, ‘One should not be too soon fearful, nor too soon joyful’. Watching our mood swings, we take a few deep breaths occasionally, calming them, allowing things to pass through us. And a proverb drawn from hunting, ‘He who wants to catch a hart can’t worry about his horse’, is perhaps the Anglo-Saxon aristocrat’s equivalent of ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’. We can’t please everybody; neither is it our job to do so. Though we finish with an Anglo-Saxon warning for all those who like to quote inspirational sayings: ‘If you speak well, act accordingly’. Enough said.