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In the movie American Gangster, Frank Lucas said

Even a fool gets to be young once.

What does this phrase mean?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It means that even though those who are older and wiser realize just how precious youth is, the gift of youth does not have to be earned. Everyone gets to be young- even fools who don't appreciate it or spend it wisely.

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It means that you can let offenses committed by foolish young persons be excused due to a charitable attribution of their foolishness to their youth. The expression is generally considered to be an act of graciousness, not entirely ascribing the foolishness to youth.

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