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Wise Words by Diana Flegal

The other day words my Dad often spoke to us as children came to mind. I thought I’d share a couple snippets of wisdom that he could have learned from his Father (though my Grandfather and Grandmother on my Dad’s side were French Canadian). I do know many of his favorite sayings came from poems he learned in school. They were big on memorization back in his day. Sadly, not so much in mine. Today we might term the way he was taught as a classical education.


“Kitten (that is what my Dad called me), until you’ve walked a mile in his/her moccasins, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge.”

The Walk a Mile in His Moccasins quote is often contributed to various American Indian tribes, but it actually comes from a poem written by Mary T. Lathrap in 1895. The original title was Judge Softly. I have shared a large portion of the poem below, but the full poem can be read at the above in-bedded link.

Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps,
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the moccasins he wears,
Or stumbled beneath the same load.

There may be tears in his soles that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
The burden he bears placed on your back
May cause you to stumble and fall, too.

Don’t sneer at the man who is down today
Unless you have felt the same blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.

You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, unknown to you in the same way,
May cause you to stagger and fall, too.

Don’t be too harsh with the man that sins.
Or pelt him with words, or stone, or disdain.
Unless you are sure you have no sins of your own,
And it’s only wisdom and love that your heart contains.

For you know if the tempter’s voice
Should whisper as soft to you,
As it did to him when he went astray,
It might cause you to falter, too.

Just walk a mile in his moccasins
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse.
If just for one hour, you could find a way
To see through his eyes, instead of your own muse.

I believe  you’d be surprised to see
That you’ve been blind and narrow minded, even unkind.
…Take the time to walk a mile in his moccasins.

Another saying my Dad felt I needed to hear often while growing up was, “Make hay while the sun shines”, encouraging me to not put things off for another day. This proverb is first recorded in John Heywood‘s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

       Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.

       Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.

Though there were many more, I’d like to know what wise sayings you can recall from your childhood? Please remember, this is a PG rated blog. #GRIN





  1. max lewis says:

    Turn about is fair play, don’t beat a dead horse, beggars can’t be choosers, there’s a lot more, thanks Diana, Max Lewis

  2. Max, those are good ones- my Dad was big on the Beggars can’t be choosy! LoL

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