Author Archives: kmeador

Coaching Advice

“Everything’s important; nothing is special.”


“My coaches used to say, ‘Everything’s important; nothing is special,'” says the informant. “Essentially, they meant ‘how you do one thing, is how you do everything.'” Throughout their collegiate athletic career, they heard this phrase often, typically as “what the coaches thought was a form of encouragement.”


The formulation in which advice or wisdom is given changes, depending on the climate or the environment of these interactions. In this case, the intent behind these messages is built out of fostering determination within players. These types of phrases are similar to those used by coaching figures, generally speaking, like “keep your eyes on the prize” or “work hard, play hard.” Phrases like these encourage players to focus on their goals and visualize the outcomes that they want to, ultimately, push them harder. The reception of the message depends on the execution of how the intent is presented. In using specific verbiage, one could actually deter or lower potential excitement and energy, especially when in a position of coaching. In providing advice, it is important to have a keen awareness of recipient perception, or else, sometimes the message can be lost.

Got a Secret?

“It all comes out in the wash.”


The informant remembers their grandmother telling them: “it all comes out in the wash.” Now, reflecting on their childhood, they knows this meant “secrets usually aren’t kept secret” and made them feel like “no problem was too serious.”


Essentially, when facing personal issues that one is worried about, this saying emphasizes the strength of familial bonds surpassing hardship. The informant’s recollections suggest that nothing an individual can go through is too difficult for the entire family and that, with their support and guidance, everything will all be figured out eventually. Hence, “in the wash” means that everything will eventually be cleaned and sorted to the point of almost renew and refresh. This folkloric family-derived saying is one of encouragement and support for family members. Speech like this serves as a reminder that everyone is only human and can do nothing at the end of the day other than choose to be better for and with their family.

How to Tell Someone to “Calm Down”

“¡Serena morena!”

“Calm down!”


The informant defined the phrase “serena morena”, or “sereno moreno,” as a way of telling someone else to “calm down or kind of chill out.” Throughout their childhood, their “grandpa used to say it all the time.” There is no direct English translation, but it’s a playful way of insinuating one should “take it easy.” This expression is popular in Mexico.


Playful expressions like these create less of an aggressive approach to honesty, especially with children. Being able to craft a creative solution to issues of overactivity can be helpful in approaching a situation in a way that is not pushy. Instead of using the direct translation of “calm down,” delivering an otherwise harsh message a little more lightly can foster a better environment. In doing so, a dialogue of mutual understanding can be prioritized. Culturally popularized, this folk phrase tends to be passed on from generation to generation.

Stars In Your Eyes – Proverb

“वह लड़की जिसकी आँखों में सितारे हैं”

“Vah ladakee jisakee aankhon mein sitaare hain”

“The girl with stars in her eyes.”

Origins: Indian


The informant was taught this specific Hindi phrase by her grandmother. They recall hearing this phrase “since [they were] a baby” and “can’t remember the first time” they were introduced to this proverb. The informant elaborates, “My Nani taught me the Hindi phrase. It’s what her father would call her.” Furthermore, Nanaji, their Nani’s father, “was a poet. He told her the story of how stars were good acts materialized, and that’s why Nani was the girl with stars in her eyes.” Growing up, the informant’s “grandma always told [them they] had stars in [their] eyes.”


Being told one has “stars in their eyes” symbolizes all of the good that another person has worked for, manifested in front of them. The informant’s personal story of an older generation saying this phrase to members of the younger generation is telling of the sacrifices that families make to see their children succeed. This is reflective of the inherent importance that is held for trying to give younger generations better lives than those who have lived before them. Also, this proverb creates a folk narrative that emphasizes the impermeability of family ties. Similar to the stars, the notion of the goodness wished for the next generation shines bright. Stars, in this case, personify the beauty of creation and the underlying interconnectedness resounding from loved ones.