María Pérez Calvo Torres
(1885 ~ 1973)
"Maolek-ña i baban guaha, ke nu i maolek tåya'."
(The bad of what you have is better than the good of what you don't have.)
The saying comes from a member of Guam's old prominent families.
Maria'n Jose'n Torres was a member of the Perez and Calvo families by blood, and of the Torres family by marriage, with connections to the Martinez clan.
Her husband Jose Martinez Torres was a leading businessman and judicial official before the war. He passed away in 1950.
They came from the generation very influenced by Spanish culture. In fact, when they wanted to hide information from the children or grand children, husband and wife spoke in Spanish.
As to the proverb....
What you have, although it may not be perfect, exists. It is there. It's in your hands to benefit from and enjoy.
There is always something or someone "better" out there, but often only theoretically. Possibly. But the point is that this possibly better option isn't in your hands now....and may never be!
It is better to accept a less-than-perfect person, thing or situation, because the perfect often exists only in our imagination. Furthermore, though less-than-perfect, the person, thing or situation that exists brings his/her/its own assets. Whereas the imaginary, theoretical and merely possible good brings no benefit, unless imagining the possible has its benefits.
Of course, as with all proverbs, there is a grain of truth, but not all truth. One proverb's truth is balanced by another proverb's truth.
1) Look before you leap.
2) He who hesitates is lost.
These two proverbs contradict each other, yet both are true depending on the situation.