“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
The informant was born and grew up in Hawaii before coming to the University of Southern California to achieve her undergraduate degree in Psychology. She is half Filipino and half Japanese.
She has heard this proverb many times, hither in books or advice that her parents gave her, and she has said it many times as well, and she has yet to encounter anyone who has not heard of this proverb. She reported this proverb after being asked what her favorite proverb is or what is the one that is used most often.
This proverb is generally explained in a story. If you are gathering eggs from your chickens, and put them all in one basket, then if you drop that basket, all of your eggs are gone. If you put the eggs in multiple eggs, you can drop one of the baskets, then you will still have other eggs to make an omelette. In other words, you must not put all of your hopes and rely entirely on just one option, because if that one thing fails, then you lose everything.
This can be applied to many different things. Stocks are a good example. This proverb recommends diversity of investments, so that if one stock does horribly, there is still money in other stocks to fall back on. It can also be used to advise apply to more than one job or college, because if you don’t get that one acceptance, then you are left with nothing.
This proverb advises always having a backup plan. This is a big idea in American culture, always having something to fall back on. This may be in large part due to the ambition of many Americans, constantly striving to be the best possible, to achieve the highest ranking, but if that is not possible, you don’t want to completely crash and burn. To prevent that, people have backup plans, something to fall back on, skills to all back on. This proverb supports this plan.
For another definition of this proverb, please see: “put all eggs in one basket.” Idioms by The Free Dictionary. Web. 30 April 2015. <http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+all+eggs+in+one+basket.>