“El flojo y el mezquino andan dos veces el camino.”

“El flojo y el mezquino andan dos veces el camino.”

 “The lazy and the mean take the road that is twice as long.”

“Este siempre lo decía mi mama. El flojo, es una gente que no hace ningún esfuerzo, y el mezquino es el que hace la maldad. Las personas que hacen las cosas por el mal camino les va a costar mas trabajo llegar a un buen fin. En cambio las gentes que hacen las cosas correctamente, acaban y resuelven las cosas mas rápidamente.”

“My mother always said this one. The lazy person, is someone who makes no effort, and the the cheap person is someone who does things through meanness. The people who do things through a bad way will have greater trouble getting to a good end. Instead those people who do things correctly, finish and resolve things in a much quicker way.”

My mom, the informant for this proverb, was born and grew up in Mexico, living the first 30 years of her life in Mexico City. As a native Mexican, she knows a lot about the customs and culture of the country. Besides that, she also grew up in a family that, like most Mexican families, uses proverbs very frequently in everyday speech. She therefore learned most of the proverbs that she knows in a household setting, from family members and friends. She remembers most of the proverbs that she heard while growing up given the fact that they were constantly repeated, and also because of their very memorable format, often using rhymes, alliteration, and rhythm to convey their message. Today, many of them are part of her everyday vocabulary.

This proverb stresses a philosophy of living life in an honest way. Though cheating or being lazy may seem easier and quicker in the short term, in the long term they will lead to trouble in life, and will just delay the achievement of positive goals. The fact that my grandmother repeated this proverb so many times to my mom, must mean that she firmly believed in the message conveyed in it. This proverb, then, served as a lesson to my mom – she became aware of the values that she was expected to embrace and uphold at least partially through a proverb. In my opinion, it is a good lesson to learn early, because as a child and teenager, there is a great temptation to cheat and/or be lazy in a school setting because it can be easier. Having this mentality engrained in you at a young age, although it may be tough at first, will definitely lead to a happier and healthier life.