Folk Speech: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Text (Proverb): “Fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me.”

Context: Being a life-long learner means seeing the good in mistakes. I’ve gotten comfortable with the fact that progress is made through our own failure or the failure of others. This is an old Chinese proverb that I have heard many times while growing up with my immigrant parents. They would say this out of anger when people treat them poorly for not being able to speak English. This mistreatment led them to learn English so that they could stand up for themselves in society. I think this proverb speaks to the natural naivety of humans, as there are many things in life that are out of control. At the same time, it also speaks to our primal ability to take control through critical thinking, drawing from personal experience to prevent what was previously unknown.

Analysis: The proverb chosen is a very driven and direct proverb that is used to set the mindset of the sayer to never let themselves get too comfortable with people after being fooled/ let down. As for the Informant, I can see that this proverb originates in their childhood as they would hear it growing up from their parents, possibly being the cause of why they remember it so clearly. As for how the proverb was interpreted, the proverb goes further than just a note to self, it is related to the nature of humans and how one must adapt to the situations they face, making the proverb a reminder to never get too comfortable nor too unaware.