Caribbean women are well-known for their uncanny ability to make you check yourself. Caribbean grandmothers, even more so. They hold an artillery of witty yet thought-provoking phrases that are applicable in any situation. Like many things, I didn’t fully appreciate these words of wisdom until adulthood. The next five Caribbean proverbs can be useful for anybody still figuring out this thing called life.
“People nuh stone mango tree when it naw bear”
If you’re not ready to be talked about then you’re not ready for success. The unfortunate truth is when you make the decision to embark on greatness, there will be naysayers and critics watching and waiting to tear you down. People will attack you for your success so grow a thick skin and be prepared.
“Monkey know which tree to climb”
Ever notice how your boss always asks you to work late or that one “friend” seems to take her sh*t out on you more than anyone else? Some people, like animals, can spot easy prey from a mile away. But they can also sense when they shouldn’t mess with someone. In life you determine how people perceive you. You demonstrate how people ought to treat you. We cannot task anyone else with this responsibility. It’s up to you to define how you come across to others. If you stand up for yourself and make it known what you expect of the people around you, the social predators in your midst will adjust their behavior accordingly.
“Gopaul luck eh Seepaul luck”
Originated in Trinidad , this proverb can be interpreted several ways. In my family it was simple, do not follow people. We often see articles about how social media has made it easier for this generation to compare themselves to others. We feel pressured to travel more, have a nicer brunch and generally be more fabulous than our peers. Unfortunately, what we don’t always see are the years of heartache and hard work these people have put in (or sometimes haven’t) to achieve their goals and create the life of their dreams. The remedy is simple, live your life and stay focused on your blessings and your journey.
“Drunk or sober, mind your business”
It’s good to spend time with your friends, take an afternoon off just to relax or get completely sloshed on a night out. But at the end of the day (or night), check your email. Make follow-up calls to that client. Remember to save some funds for that property you’ve been thinking about. It’s your life, your responsibility and your business. Balance is important, but be sure to put your priorities and the legacy you’re building first. Right here, right now is the time to build a foundation for the future. So no matter where you are or what you’re doing, keep your hustle at the forefront.
“Big tree fall down, goat bite he leaf”
Let’s face it, the world loves a winner and confidence is undeniably attractive. But should the winner fall on hard times he or she is no longer feared or respected. Life is a roller-coaster of ups and downs. During our peak times let us never forget the people who’ve stood by our sides on our best and worst days.
What are some of your fav Caribbean sayings? Share below. xoxo