Feature photo by caveman_92223
Like so many other Mexican kids raised in this country, I found myself listening to the countless pearls of advice from my father whenever I did something wrong. Whatever the situation, there was always someone else who had done the same but with tragic results. “Oh, you didn’t listen to your mother. Well, I had a friend in the pueblo who didn’t listen to his mother, and now he’s dead.” Cautionary tales and parables were a plenty in the Cortes household. Some of this knowledge was imparted in the form of parables and the vast majority as dichos, or phrases and sayings that one should live by.
One dicho in particular sticks out more than the rest: “no es llegar sino saber llegar.” This translates to “it’s not about arriving; it’s about knowing how to arrive.” I eventually learned that this was more than likely taken from the José Alfredo Jiménez song, “El Rey.” Origin aside, this particular dicho stuck with me because I think it sums up the Mexican attitude toward life in general. To me, this says that in the context of life, the journey is more important than the destination. It is in the journey that a person learns. As a relatively recent college graduate, when I think about college, I don’t think about taking that embarrassing walk across a stage in front of thousands of strangers to get my diploma. What comes to mind are difficult professors, the friends I made, and a string of random parties that occupied most of my time. This little phrase also affects my life more than I know. In a recent discussion with a friend, we both came to the realization that there is no set destination in the journey of life. If it’s not the destination that counts, then what does? The journey. It’s how you get there, and some may say, it’s about getting there in style.
What about you? What are your own favorite dichos?