The Moss Code

Rarely do we come across a more robust, evocative and versatile proverb than “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss”. Because, depending upon the situational context, it can be interpreted with both positive as well as negative connotations.

If gathering moss be equated with thoughtfulness, stability, steadfastness, forming roots, holding one’s ground, accepting responsibilities, facing adversity or bearing burdens, then you would be seen to gain knowledge, experience, form socio-cultural ties and familial attachments, and empathise with society. But this can also mean stagnation, rigid views, loss of freedom, lack of perspective, morbidity to change, a non-ideating mind and deficiency of vision.

On the other hand a lack of moss would be desirable for a soaring personality, active mind, bubbling ideas, desire for growth, quest for knowledge, flexibility, adaptability, unstinting progress and change, and freedom from worldly attachments and cares. But the negative implication would indicate an unstable and fickle mind, confused opinions, chaotic thoughts, hampered growth, shirking from duties, lack of determination and low self-confidence.

This proverb therefore holds a mirror to our intrinsic individualities and cravings, and thus emphasises the need to cast a judicious reflection on our aspirations and approach to life.

– Narendra Nayak © 2018

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