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Lesson

Querer es Poder Ser un quiero y no puedo



Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation
The self-explanatory phrase Querer es poder, whose equivalent in English could well be, Where there's a will there's a way, is a very popular phrase which belongs to the realm of folk tradition. We all have heard of it many times, but oddly enough, we may have taken it for granted. Today's episode wants to pay homage to this wise thought and reveal the magic of its true power as well known and documented, not only by the Buddhist tradition, but also corroborated by the latest scientific discoveries in the field of the brain. The idea is to get the best of ourselves in this very life to live to our fullest potential and to develop all the qualities that can give us the power to transform ourselves and our circumstances. To do so, we need to transform ourselves from the inside out and never the other way around.

With the verbs querer and poder, besides the common phrase querer es poder, we also have another often used expression to refer to those people who aspire to be what they are not, and will never be. With pretentious appearances and behaviors, they look for an identity beyond themselves geared to achieve a coveted social status and life style through sheer imitation. Their world is surrounded by objects whose value is supposed to provide them with an equal value and status. Some contexts in which the expression ser un quiero y no puedo is often used are:

Podemos describir a estas personas como "un quiero y no puedo":

- Cualquier ama de casa que va al supermercado con un bolso de Gucci que paga a plazos mientras compra alimentos baratos y de poca calidad. Su principal objetivo es aparentar. Prefiere gastar su dinero en accesorios externos que en comida de buena calidad.

- Cualquier hombre que compra un coche de diseño que imita los coches que conducen los ricos y famosos y compra ropa de marcas prestigiosas de imitación en los mercadillos a precios baratísimos para aparentar un estilo de vida de clase social alta.

- Cualquier persona que decora su casa con muebles baratos y de mal gusto, pero que imitan el estilo de decoración de las casas de los ricos y famosos. O cualquier persona que prefiere no comer, literalmente, y tener en su casa un mueble carísimo sólo por su valor económico.

Esta expresión, sin embargo, también se puede usar en otro tipo de contexto, por ejemplo, en el siguiente:

- Los últimos minutos del partido fueron un quiero y no puedo para el tenista español.

In this context, we mean that the underdog tennis player tried his best to beat the number one, but however hard he tried, he just could not win the champion, and was defeated despite his Herculean effort.

Note: Please note the expression ser un quiero y no puedo is used in Spain in a pejorative sense. In this episode, it has been used firstly and foremost to use expressions with the verbs querer and poder and secondly, to balance the meaning of the positive and powerful phrase querer es poder, in an interactive way and take the opportunity to show that our real value is inside of us, rather than outside.