I love the triads from the OBOD bardic course. And the class has the same reader for all the triads who starts his piece with “The triads, a storehouse of wisdom…” Life is not a dichotomy of black and white, these statements encapsulate a thought, moral, or concept. These short statements were probably used by the ancient welsh bards as memonic devices. But I love them because they are great philosophical statements, something I can mull over for hours.
Below are some of my favorites:
Three gains from those who heed the advice of the old ones: illumination, wisdom, and clarity.
Three surety’s of happiness: good habits, amiability, and forbearance.
There are three whose full reward can never be given them: parents, a good teacher, and the Gods.
The three most beautiful sights: a potato garden in bloom, a ship in sail, a woman after the birth of her child.
The three tasks of a Druid: to live fully in the present; to honor tradition and the ancestors; to hear the voice of tomorrow.
Three leaderships of the happy: being good in service, good in disposition, and good in secrecy; and these are found united only in those with a noble heart.
There are three foundations in wisdom: discretion in learning, memory in retaining, and eloquence in telling.
There are three things in a contract which need special attention: that which is explicitly, that which is implicit, and that which has been forgotten.
Three types of investment: goods, money, and time. Goods and money can be bought, but time is priceless. Invest the right amount of time on a project and you will be well rewarded.
There are three indications of real generosity: to remain steadfast without resisting, to praise without the emotion of generosity, and to give before being asked.
Three littles which do much harm: a little of bad disposition, a little of injustice, a little of negligence. We sometimes think that because something is small it is less harmful than something big: but we all know in our hearts how just one word, one act of negligence, one unjust decision can hurt so deeply.
Of course, these triads also represent one of my failures from this course. I started the year (actually almost 2 years) intending to memorize these statements. But I didn’t memorize a single one. Instead, I’ve got lists to reference when needed. On the plus side, I’ve began understanding the nuances of options: to memorize the triads, to write lists of the triads, or know how to look up existing triads and / or create new triads as needed. While memorizing them would help me produce the concepts when needed, it does take time and work to learn them. By using lists and learning how to look up new triads, I’ve incorporated the philosophy into my thoughts using a process that works for me. Your way probably will be and should be different.