October 14, 2018
You should be careful how you treat others because, as they say, ‘What goes around comes around …’
Believe it or not, I selected this famous saying months ago. As it turns out, one judge, in particular, decided to use this phrase in a purely partisan, angry, inflammatory statement he gave in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Y’all know what happened, but let’s put that aside for a few moments and take a look at this idiom.
What Does ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ Mean?
The idiom “What goes around comes around” (alternatively: “What comes around goes around”) can mean one of two things:
- It can refer to a process of something returning to its original value or place after going through a cycle or rotation (Wiktionary).
- whatever a person does to someone else might be done to them
- The way one person treats another person might determine how the first person is treated at a later time.
- Depending on what a person does, they will face some consequences.
The first sense is rarely used and is more akin to the phrase “full circle.” More often, when we say, “what comes around goes around,” we are using the phrase in the second, third, or fourth sense. This is akin to “You reap what you sow.”