“You can’t fix a human.”

B is a 21-year-old Korean male originally from Busan, South Korea. B is currently a college student in Los Angeles, California.

B informed me of this folklore while I was visiting him in his college dorm, which he shares with four other students. B recited the following saying to me after getting in a verbal argument with his messy roommate, who refused to clean his hair out of the shower drain.

B: You know, we have an old saying.. like, “you can’t fix a human.” You know you might give someone a second chance.. after they do something wrong, but they will still revert to their status quo even after a while. And it’s true most of the time.

Reflection: According to B, he did not know how to translate the exact Korean saying to English, as the full meaning does not transfer very clearly across languages. I can at least make an assessment based on the rough translation of “you can’t fix a human” and the context of its usage. It seems to be a direct reference to the idea that human nature is unchangeable, and people will make certain decisions regardless of outside influences. The saying is cynical and direct in nature, given that it assumes “broken” people are incapable of being ”fixed.” Or in other words, the hair will never be cleaned from the shower drain.