Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Fools Rush In (#MY Eng 62)

This is part of a running series about English idioms - less about language, more about life itself. Previously, we covered 'missing the woods for the trees', 'the elephant in the room', 'practising what you preach', blowing hot and cold', 'no smoke without fire', 'one swallow does not make a summer', 'apples and oranges', 'cut to the chase', 'leave no stone unturned', 'that's the way the cookie crumbles', 'can't have your cake and eat it too', 'old is gold', 'putting the cart before the horse', 'mountain out of a molehill', 'pot calling the kettle black', 'bite the bullet', 'go the extra mile', 'silence is golden', 'the devil is in the details', 'sink or swim', 'once bitten twice shy', 'don't count your chickens before they hatch', 'don't put all your eggs into one basket', 'chicken and egg', 'walking on eggshells', 'flogging a dead horse', 'better late than never', 'storm in a teacup', 'between a rock and a hard place', 'darkest before dawn', 'empty vessels make the most noise', 'birds of a feather flock together', 'separate the wheat from the chaff', 'let sleeping dogs lie', 'open a can of worms', 'light at the end of the tunnel', 'trial and error', 'look before you leap', 'lightning in a bottle', 'on the same page', don't judge a book its cover', 'reinvent the wheel', 'shifting gears', 'throwing in the towel', 'jump on the bandwagon', 'passing the buck', 'breaking the ice', 'cracking the code', 'when it rains it pours', 'bigger fish to fry', 'ball is in your court', 'back to the drawing board', 'square peg in a round hole', 'don't rock the boat', 'a whole new ball game', 'burning the midnight oil', 'never say never', 'get all your ducks in a row', 'make the hay while the sun shines', 'tick all the boxes', and 'a leopard cannot change its spots'.

There's a rom-com made in the 90s with the same title, starring the lovely Salma Hayek and witty Matthew Perry, which most of us are either far too young to have watched or too old to remember watching. Rom-com isn't one of my favourite genre, and I can only recall flashes from the movie.

I don't need to (and won't) go into the plot details for anyone to correctly guess that the movie is about two odd couple falling head over heels for each other due to "love at first sight". Problem is - as there wouldn't be a Hollywood movie stretching over an hour without a problem - the moments of passion gets ripped apart by the forces of reality.

I won't spoil the plot any further. Nor is my intention to go all soft and mushy about love, anyway. Rather, the larger point is how we - just like star-crossed lovers blinded by passion - keep rushing into making major decisions that turn out to be life-changing mistakes...

* * *

As a mentor, I get particularly concerned when a youngling starts straying into a dangerous path that threatens to wreck their future. Like Master Yoda feeling the fear and anger brimming in Anakin Skywalker. It's hard for us not to feel sorry, and do everything in power to stop the poor young fools from rushing in...

But often times, our timely advice goes unheeded. Our pleas are drowned out by whispers of malevolent forces giving sweet assurances that one can always enjoy the best of both worlds. The Jedi's path of letting go off attachments, losing the ones you love, and making sacrifices are just no match to the Sith's code fuelled by power and passion.

A Jedi Master would say: "You have to choose. Building up skills requires focused training and discipline. Put aside thoughts of comfort and material gains."

And a Sith Lord would say: "You can have everything that your heart so desire. Money. Status. Work-life balance. Love. You need not sacrifice anything. Just step this way, onto this shortcut..."

Why do fools in? Because they're young and naive. Because they have never tasted true power and taken on true responsibilities. Because they think they're special and different (and won't fail the way so many others have failed). Because they lack the experience and wisdom that comes with age.

* * *

I've seen many younglings rush like fools into making mistakes after mistakes. It pains me to see them suffer - and perhaps ruin their lives forever.

But who am I to judge the folly of others? May he (or she) who has not sinned throw the first stone...

Yes, that's actually a line from the Bible. That's quite an abrupt switch of theme - from Hollywood to Christianity. But as always, art imitates life.

For the full sagely advice reads: "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread..."

No comments :

Post a Comment