This will be a short article today, thank goodness.
I just have 1 Psalm to read and I went through it earlier and there wasn’t much that really stood out for me. The Proverb 23, however, I did find about 5 small items in that passage.
This is all part of a continuing series on reading Billy Graham’s Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Each day for 31 days, I read a few Psalms and 1 Proverb and then set about to write my stream of consciousness thoughts on them. Reading Psalms will improve your relationship with God while reading Proverbs will improve your understanding of other humans.
Proverbs 23 “Do not overwork to be rich.”
I had to learn this one the hard way. It took me 29 years of working to learn this.
Here in America, we do overwork. We believe in “pulling yourself up by your boot straps” (whatever the heck that means). We believe the phrase, “don’t half-ass it.” (ok, that’s kinda a gross statement when you think about it literally) We are fully committed to the idea of hard work and education will make you achieve and fulfill the American Dream, as if it is this one-time attainable goal.
First off, it is not a one-time goal.
It is a goal that lasts over….usually about 40 to 50 years. So if you are planning to grind hard and hard and harder and hardest, over and over, and over and over again……you are going to ruin your health, your hair, your family, or your hopes and ability to cope with anxiety well.
Adulthood is a marathon. You must have endurance and you must pace yourself well while trying to maintain good work-life balance.
The reason we strive for money is usually to possess goods, to improve our appearance and health, and to have that posh family vacation.
Grinding super hard for almost 365 days a year only to have 2 weeks off……that will literally eat you from the inside out. The anxiety, the stress, the worry, the life in the fast lane……this will wear out your body too or wreck your physical appearance and health which Steve Jobs ultimately said is the real wealth in society.
Good health is the real wealth. Not gold.
Grinding hard increases cortisol levels in the body which causes us to gain weight around our bellies. As the weight increases overtime, we develop complete metabolic syndrome. Once our metabolism is wrecked, we begin to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes. Once you have diabetes, you lose a lotta gold trying to pay for the super expensive diabetic medications plus you must change your eating habits and exercise more and you must monitor your blood sugar constantly for spikes or lows. If you get a low, you could go into a coma or have a stroke. If you get a too high spike, you could have something like a heart attack. Plus you could lose your feet. If you get a sore or a cut as a diabetic, it becomes extremely hard to heal. A simple cut on your diabetic foot could cause you to lose the whole foot, to have bone infections or blood problems. If the infection gets into the blood or bone….you could become septic and die. Sometimes for diabetes, a simple cut can be life-threatening and take years to finally heal.
There are nurses that get paid very well just to be wound care specialists for the elderly and they literally spend their whole day going around treating and disinfecting and cleaning and bandaging up life-threatening wounds on older people that never really close back up or heal. I had a friend that her mother had a wound in her thigh that had to to be cleaned and disinfected and packed every day for 3 years.
Health is the real wealth.
I no longer do overwork. I do work hard but I understand that I have a limit, a boundary of how much I can take of overwork before I spazz out or break down my health.
There’s a reason the night shift is called the graveyard shift. People need sleep. Sleep deprivation causes all sorts of health issues. If you go on night shift, make sure you are getting adequate sleep during the day as well or you will begin to have chronic health conditions.
I learned all this from working with healthcare folks and watching and observing.
I do not do overwork.
Work smarter, not harder.
Proverbs 23 “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”
In ancient Greek mythology, there was a woman named Cassandra. She was cursed. She had the ability to foresee like a psychic the future but her curse was that no one would believe her.
Sometimes I feel like Cassandra.
And other times, I feel like the fool.
In 1996, folks were talking about this internet thing as the next big thing. We literally were accessing email via a Dos Prompt on a terminal rather than a PC and definitely not a laptop. Some people rode the wave of the future and became hugely successful in the IT industry and capitalized on the new e-commerce stocks and such.
But others, like me, just got the usual 9 to 5 job. I was a fool at that point.
But there are other times in my life that I felt like Cassandra.
I am big into alternative medicine and vitamins. When Covid broke out, I spent a lot of time advocating online for folks to take vitamins, especially vitamin D3 as it had cured me of a chronic cough condition I had for 3 years. I learned about this from going to an alternative medicine doctor after years of nowhere treatments and x-rays and all sorts of trial and error attempts to cure the chronic cough. It was an awful cough that I had while working in a cube farm 8 hours a day. I annoyed the heck outta my coworkers to say the least and was extremely frustrated and embarrassed by the constant uncontrollable coughing and gagging noises.
The alternative medicine doc took my blood sample. She said I was extremely low in Vitamin D. She said I had Vitamin D levels of a long-term nursing home resident. Immediately, she put me on one Vitamin D3 a day gummy and told me to spend 15 minutes a day out in the sun, perhaps walking or sunbathing to absorb the sun into my body.
Apparently, humans are really just like plants. We don’t do photosynthesis but we do get Vitamin D from sun exposure as well as things like milk and such. I had been a redhead with freckles and had avoided the sun for years and that was exactly my problem.
I began taking Vitamin D3 daily and after 3 months, the cough went away never to return. In fact, my immune system must have gotten boosted too. It improved my gut health as 90 percent of the immune system is in the intestines and most health concerns begin in the intestines. For years after that, I watched coworkers struggle with colds and flues whereas I never hardly got sick again and even during Covid, I got sick once or twice but it was very, very minimal effect on me.
Anyway, at the outbreak of Covid, I was posting everywhere on the internet especially in comment sections of YouTube telling people to go out and buy vitamin D3 gummies and take them to help protect themselves and their families against the respiratory illness and I shared my backstory ALOT. I was really advocating hard for Vitamin D3 because I didn’t want to see people die.
Folks were super skeptical of me. Alot told me to be quiet and I wasn’t an expert. Was I a doctor? How did I know this, I wasn’t educated? What did I do for a living? I wasn’t a doctor or nurse! What research did I have to prove this?
I got that constantly. Then, I began to tell people about skin absorption of vitamin D from the sun in the northern hemisphere and how people with more melanin pigmentation needed more time out in the sun to get Vitamin D and how racial differences were really just natural adaptation of the skin to certain climates and to sun exposure as if the human body’s skin was like a chameleon that adapted to the sun wavelengths.
People did not want to hear this at all.
They did not want to hear that our races are simply Darwinian evolutionary adaptations to our natural environment and our sun exposure in those environments. The skin becomes lighter the farther north you go so that the body can absorb better the sun’s rays. The skin becomes darker near the tropics so that the body is protected from too much of the sun’s rays. Therefore, what we know to be race isn’t a difference at all. It is just variations in the skin like a, say for example, a tinted window verses a window that is made to absorb more light. And that human skin can adapt in a person over time, altering the person’s level of “tint” or melanin to fit its environment to a certain extent. The human body self-regulates and adapts.
(For example, I used to live in Kansas. After 2 years of living in northern Vermont, my skin is lighter now.)
This information I shared was controversial and in many folks’ minds, just wrong. They just did not want to believe it or even consider it and many asked me…..who are you? Are you an expert???
It was this super white Caucasian girl from Kansas telling people with darker pigmentation that they really needed to be in the sun more to protect themselves from Covid or to take Vitamin D3 gummies and make sure their families took them too.
That did not go over well AT ALL. AT ALL. It went over about as well as a fart in an elevator. Seriously.
Despite the backlash and skeptics and online trolling and people telling me to sit down and shut up, I kept trying to tell people online about the importance of Vitamin D and my own backstory. I just really didn’t want to see them or their family members get really sick from Covid or die. If I had an opportunity to help them, I needed to try. So I kept commenting and posting.
And I guess to this day….I’m glad I did. Since then, there have been lots of experiments and research developed and doctors coming out advocating D3. I’m glad to see that. It made a huge impact in my health and I hope it will make a huge impact for others as well. In fact, I really believe taking a multi-vitamin daily helps people to slow down the aging process in the body. But you have to be careful what vitamin brands you buy as some are better than others.
Proverbs 23 “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.”
Ok, admittedly some of the Bible is a bit dated in its philosophy and a bit cray-cray.
I’ve never beaten a kid with a rod. I don’t think I would ever want to.
Sometimes I question the Bible.
The whole Sodom and Gomorrah topic and sexual orientation…..in my eyes, the problem with those 2 cities is that when you read the scripture about the visiting angels, they were mobbed and threatened with violent non-consensual conduct from the mob.
The issue was not sexual orientation. The issue with Sodom and Gomorrah was rape and violence and bullying. The key is that it was more about ganging up with violence and bullying than it was about sexual orientation in my view. It was about coercion which I think is definitely wrong.
I do feel that love is love and who am I to be a hypocrite and tell someone how to live their life as a consenting adult? Or to tell them they can’t marry someone they love or to tell them they can’t get health insurance for their partner or to tell them they can’t raise babies together? It’s stupid.
The Bible is complex.
But back to the original statement, at one point the Bible says bullying is wrong and then at another point it says parents should beat their kids with a stick.
Proverbs 23 “The drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty.”
Alcohol is expensive. Buying meats at the grocery store is expensive too. I can’t afford to do BBQ parties every weekend. I would be broke. Every time my husband does a BBQ party it costs a minimum of about 100 bucks and sometimes up to 300 depending on the type of meat like brisket or steaks.
Benjamin Franklin said one of the best qualities a human can have is temperance, not doing too much and not doing too little, being balanced.
“Temperance in all things, including temperance itself.”
I like Ben Franklin. He had some awesome phrases like “A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush.”
I remind myself of this phrase every time about my marriage. Don’t give up the bird in your hand to chase the two in the bush cause you’ll end up empty-handed with none of the 3 birds.
Sometimes, admittedly though, that bird in the bush is super beautiful like a peacock or something and the bird in your hand, you kinda take it for granted sometimes or get bored with it for a bit. You’re looking at that peacock in the bush and you’re holding a little sparrow.
But sparrows are super cute and they can chirp really well and maybe even sing. Sparrows need love too.
The key to a long-lasting marriage seems to me to be dates. Plan fun activities with your partner. Go to a new restaurant, take a drive together in the country, visit an animal farm, go on a mini-vacation. You gotta really work at it and make time for them and plan fun things for them. Study them. Study what they like and do little things every day to make them feel special…. a little note on their napkin in their work lunch box, maybe bring them their favorite drink from Dunkin Donuts.
One thing cool my husband used to do for me was put together scavenger hunts for me to find a gift item he bought. One time he took me on a trip through Oklahoma to visit waterfalls all over the state. That was great fun. He took my kids to Ruby Falls and Rock Mountain and we had fun as a family together there. He took me to Destin to sit on the white sandy beaches together and play in the surf. We went whitewater rafting in Colorado.
Don’t get complacent and lazy at it. Plan stuff for them. It makes the marriage better.
Proverbs 23 “When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
This part of Proverbs 23 talks about the attitude of an alcoholic. It is hard to be an alcoholic and even harder too to be a family member of an alcoholic watching them.
I’ve witnessed this. Addictions are hard. They need unconditional love and acceptance and support and someone willing to call a person out when they falter and try to get them back on track.
I used to smoke. I smoked for 5 years cause I worked at a factory and that was what we did to socialize on our breaks. You start with one and pretty soon you are smoking a pack or two a day. It’s awful. I tried to quit soooooo many times.
I haven’t smoked for a while but I know it’s a very real and raw addiction for me. I finally learned the hard way, that I can’t be near them. I can’t even have one for one leads quickly to two, then to three, then to four, and so on and so on.
The only way I can stop is to stop all together. A lot of people stop the slow way but it takes a very long time. The best way to stop is cold turkey. Take the pack and throw it in the trash. Break the cigarettes up into pieces so a day later you won’t get desperate and start digging through the trash looking for just one.
You will dig through the trash. Trust me. You will. You might even try to roll those broken cigarettes back up again or run down to the local convenient store for just one pack, just one. Or knock on your friend’s door or try chew or cigars just to curb the need for it. You’ll try to rationalize every action of course.
Spend a week in serious withdrawal and suffering. Those first 3 days are gonna be hell….not gonna lie. After a week, you’ll feel better and get on with your life. 2 or 3 months down the road…..you’ll be glad you stuck it out. 6 months down the road….your lungs will feel better and you will wonder how the hell your family could tolerate the smell of your cigarettes. (That’s love there.) 2 years down the road……you won’t even want to be around cigarette smoke cause the smell is bad to you.
And then you’ll know you’re better…..but the temptation still lingers and lurks in the background………and it probably always will and that’s something you have to face as an adult, the consequences of your younger decisions and that’s completely okay and normal and many, many, many people deal with it. I am one of them.
At least you are trying to be a better version of yourself. Proud of you. Many of us are facing battles no one even knows about. Be kind.
That’s it. That’s all I got for today. Have a good day and thanks for reading!
2 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom, Psalm 107 and Proverbs 23”
Great insights on the importance of work-life balance, health, and relationships. It’s important to prioritize these areas to live a fulfilling and happy life. Thank you for sharing!
founder of balance thy life https://balancethylife.com
Thanks! I appreciate that! I will check out your website for sure.