Aus Schaden wird man klug

German Proverb: Aus Schaden wird man klug

English translation: Failure makes smart

According to the informant, Aus Schaden wird man klug is a proverb that reminds one of the essentialness of failure. We live in a world where many cultures devalue missteps instead of seeing them as being just as integral to progress as success.

The informant states that she came to know this proverb from her father who learned it from his German native father. It was when she first pursued playing the violin. She believed she could easily bypass others who found the instrument difficult to play well. Little did she know how difficult it really was. Ironically she played more poorely than her friends. After giving a few months she was ready to give up until she told her father of her intentions. This irked her father who then shared the proverb. This opened up her eyes as to how perceive failure. She embraced it and eventually came out of her learning rut. Since then she studied her failures more closely to better inform her next steps. This proverb she says holds an enourmas amount of value because it has fundamentally changed how she approaches mout things in life.

I found this proverb worth capturing because it provides a type of perspective on a matter, that is achieving success, that often comes from old and often overlooked wisdom, such as embracing failure. That is not to say there are cultures around the world who do not embrace failure today, but in the mainstream westernized way of thinking it has certainly been suppressed by many. What we must take away of from this is that understanding and appreciating antiquated thought may serve us in surprising ways. It is not something to reserve for the recepticals of time.

The informant is retired but worked as a secretary for quite some time. She is of German descent and has a great deal of German folklore knowledge that she had learned from her relatives.