There is a Chinese proverb “Yī zhāo bèi shé yǎo, shí nián pà jǐng shéng” in Chinese. It means that once we are bitten by a snake, we would be afraid of seeing it again for the next 10 years to the point that we would feel petrified from just the sight of a plain rope in a well.
It implies that the bad experiences of being bitten by a snake would create a traumatic memory that would cause us to fear anything that looks like a snake for eternity.
This trauma brings about both physical and mental fear.
With regards to this proverb, I think it is crucial to analyze how and why we got bitten by the snake in the first place. Then it assists us to be much more vigilant almost ensuring we will not endure the same painful experience again, and obtain wisdom instantaneously.
This might eventually help us to avoid far worse things such as coming face to face with venomous snakes that would lead to certain death.
Aside from acquiring caution, we might also widen our wisdom enough to be able to distinguish the real snakes from the fake ones. Figuratively speaking, this will make us mentally stronger, less vulnerable to dangers, and traumatic fears providing us success in more ways than one.
Here is an example. Nowadays, “dating apps” are popular in the world. Some people may be unfortunate to meet deceiving and unfaithful individuals, such as those having ulterior motives for sexual intercourse, money, etc., or meeting con men.
If we experience the dark side of these dating apps, we might experience deep depression and become afraid of getting involved in any kind of relationship in the future basically mentally scaring us, and possibly losing money because of them…. Nobody will help us. No one can retrieve the money back to us, no one can erase our black history in our brains.
In our lives, there are many things that we can’t or won’t achieve no matter how hard we try or how much effort we put into it. Sometimes, unexpected things happen. (This is Life and the sad world we live in)
We just have to learn from these experiences and understand that once bitten twice shy.
Life is like a box of chocolates, and we learn our lessons in the most unexpected ways. Failures and struggles are not all bad. But whenever we repeat the same mistakes, blame others or bury ourselves with regret, then, that’s when it will end in vain, and lead to failures.
What’s worse, it only becomes our lifelong traumas which bring about a huge deal of pain and suffering.
Things that have just happened are happening for a reason and more than likely a new lesson to be learned. All of these experiences are lessons to help protect ourselves and pave the way for a pain-free regretful and miserable future.
Gaining knowledge, challenging ourselves, and learning from our mistakes can protect our future!
By the way, have you ever thought about why snakes bite? Well…this is because these snakes are also cowards, so in order to protect themselves, they will intimidate, or bite!
Another thing to learn from this Chinese proverb might be, “To defend ourselves”, isn’t it?