Opportunities is everything

Main Piece: 机不可失,时不再来 jī bù kě shī, shí bú zài lái – Opportunity knocks at the door only once

Background Information: The informant frequently heard this saying from his parents and grandparents when he lived in China. The informant also said that this proverb hung on his math teachers’ classroom door and he would notice it everytime he would walk in. To the informant, he has taken this proverb to heart and wants to work hard so he can repay his parents who have given him so much by sending him to University in the United States. The informant describes this proverb as a typical Chinese proverb that teaches kids to be the best of the best and seize any opportunity even if it may seem out of reach.

Context: In the streets of downtown Los Angeles

Thoughts: This proverb might play a role in the competitive learning nature in China. Chinese kids are taught at a very young age to seize a lot of opportunities, as the informant stated and that education is the way of doing this. But I wonder if this creates a negative atmosphere for young  children since there has been an increase of attention surrounding the academic environment in Asia/China and if it is healthy for kids.