Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three Aims To The Future

I have collected and edited triads for nearly as long as I can remember. One of the things I have always found interesting is the vast number of subjects covered by these sayings. Even without considering the more modern variations (and likely additions), if you go back to the oldest examples we have, you’ll easily find triads covering everything from spirituality and philosophy, to manners and etiquette, to planting methods and home management. When the ancient Celtic people found a system that worked, they used it.

The old Irish believed in the magic of language. Words had a binding effect that went beyond mere labels. This is why place names are so important to the Gaelic culture, and why the giving of such place names plays such a large role usually in the opening of most of the old stories. Through this same magic, things of importance were taught to the next generation by memorization. You couldn’t just look something up when you wanted to know it. It had to be known, and someone was responsible for knowing it through and through. Triads were used to facilitate this knowing, and they can still be used to help with this task today.

Three aims to the future: planting trees, improving handicraft, and rearing lawful children.

Three things which will not benefit heirs: a miser's wealth, the praise of tavern companions, and feats of sport.

Three things which prolong the lifetime of a person: the soil which rears a child, the food which nourishes a child, and play which diverts a child.

Three gifts of charity : food, sanctuary, and instruction.

There are three things proper from one who has received kindness: their thanks, their remembrance, and their requital.

Three things for which thanks are due: an invitation, a gift, and a warning.

Three things which cause one loss of invitations: eating to much, speaking to much, and asking to much.

Three things never to bring one who has been your host: harm, contention, ill repute.

Three reasons for keeping silent: against saying the thing one ought not, against speaking in the way one ought not, and against speaking in the place one ought not.

Three reasons for speaking, come what may: for instruction against ignorance, counsel against strife, and truth against harmful falsehood.

There are three things which one should give freely to guests: gracious accommodation, friendly conversation, and insured safety.

Three things a guest should never bring to another's house: ill tidings; presumptuous license; and treachery.

Three treasures of the child in a good home: truth, love, and growth.

Three things which bring dignity to a person: discretion in speech, contentment in the life they lead, and being peaceful among their neighbors.

There are three things necessary for a contract to be made: mutual agreement, mutual understanding, and mutual consent.

There are three foundations to mutual agreement: that there be nothing hidden, that there be no malicious intent, that there be no coercion.

The three highest causes of the true human are: Truth, honor, and duty.

The three manifestations of the true human are: civility, generosity, and compassion.

The three foundations of Spirituality: Hearth as altar, work as worship, and service as sacrament.

Three types of profit: from producing , from investing , from a good reputation.

There are three things most precious to human kind: health, liberty, and virtue.

Three things which keep a person in good health: moderate food, well-apportioned labor, and natural warmth.

Three things good as servants, bad as masters: water, fire, and wind.

Three more things worse yet as masters than as servants: labor, money, and kings.

Three things which should be chiefly considered in everything: nature, form, and work.

Three things on which every person should reflect: whence they come, where they are, and whither they shall go.

Three kinds of knowledge : the nature of each thing , the cause of each thing , the influence of each thing.

There are three things which strengthen the mind and reason: seeing much, reflecting much, and enduring much.

Three marks of wisdom: simplicity, endeavor, and long-suffering.

Three things which obstruct wisdom: pride, covetousness, and timorousness.

Three operations of wisdom : taming savagery, spreading peace, and improving laws.

Three things which may not be opposed: nature, necessity, and decay.

Three foundations of success: a silent mouth, a careful ear, and a fitting action.

The three foundations of happiness: contentment; hope, and belief.

By remembering the past, we can help to learn the future. Sometimes in this modern world we get in too much of a hurry, and it would do us good to slow down and remember that some thoughts are timeless, some lessons endure. Newer isn’t always better, and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we want to move forward. There are things we can learn from those who came before us, and there are tools they left us to help make the learning go more smoothly. The triads are among those tools, and their ideas are among those lessons.

I hope you have enjoyed this sampling, and that you can take something from it that you may find beneficial to your life.

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