"One affliction is better than a thousand exhortations." --Turkish Proverb
"PROVERBS and maxims are not merely nice sayings, or left-over remnants from what some erroneously believe to be an inferior antiquity. They are the accumulated wisdom of centuries, the assimilated experiences of many generations of thinkers, and are based upon law and fact. The simplicity of language in which a maxim is expressed should not mislead a person into believing that for this reason its value is small. The simplest statements are often the most profound. The very ability to cast great ideas in plain words is itself proof and testimony of the experience and understanding of the author. Ideas simply expressed represent lessons well learned.
That one affliction is better than a thousand exhortations does not mean that the advice given by men is of no value. It only means that Karma, after all, is the best teacher -- especially in Kali Yuga. An exhortation may embody the highest wisdom, and be spoken in words of poetical beauty, and yet fail utterly to touch the inner real life of the listener. Counsel seldom penetrates the inner layers of consciousness to the extent an affliction does.
Why is this so, do we ask? "
From:KERNELS OF WISDOM
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 38, No. 10, August, 1950