Yen Ying who lived in the six century B.C was a scholar and a wit. He was a very short man. He was once sent by the ruler of Tsi as a diplomat to the kingdom of Chu. The king took one look at him and was displeased. In order to humiliate him he asked,”Are there no better persons in your country to send than you?”
“Of course there are,” answered the diplomat still keeping his poise,” why there are so many able men in our country that when they spread out their long sleeves they can hide the sun and when they perspire, it looks like rainfall.”
“Then why you?”
Yen Ying explained,” My government sends out diplomats to different countries according to the nature of the country to which they will be attached-the clever ones to clever rulers and stupid ones to stupid rulers. I am about the most stupid in my country.That is why I am sent to you.”
Later during the banquet two thieves were brought before the king. When found out that they were the diplomat’s country men from Tsi, the king turned to Yen Ying and asked ‘Why are there so many thieves in your country?”
Yen Ying replied,” Your Majesty, have you seen the little oranges that are grown north of the Huai River? They are from the same seed as the big oranges south of the Huai. It is the climate. People who are born and live in our country do not steal. But when they come to your country, I don’t know why, they go about stealing. It must be the climate of Chu, I suppose. “
(Book of Yentse)
Archive for the ‘China’ Category
Tsekung, a disciple asked Confucius,”Do the dead have consciousness?”
“Why don’t you wait till you are dead? Then you are bound to know.”
Confucius told the following story: Once I was walking in the mountains and saw a woman weeping by a grave that was fresh. I asked her what was her grief, and she dried her tears and replied,” We are a family of hunters. My father was eaten by a tiger. My husband was bitten by a tiger and died. And now my son.”
“Why don’t you move away from this place then?”
“No,” replied the woman.
And the woman replied,”Because there are no tax-gatherers here.” (Family tradition of Confucius.)
Chiwentse said to Confucius,”I always think thrice before I act.”
Confucius replied,”To think twice is enough.”
Confucius said,”If a man does not say to himself, ‘What shall I do? What shall I do?’ Indeed I do not know what shall I do with such a person.”
Confucius said,”If a man discovers his mistake and does not correct it he is committing his second mistake.” (The Analects)
Tailpiece(being half of the wit of Confucius):
Mao Tse Tung on spotting Confucius went to him and introduced himself. ” Greetings. I am Chairman Mao. I have heard so much about you. Aren’t you pleased?”
The shade of Confucius politely, “I haven’t heard anything about you. Ahem, Am I not pleased?”
Continuing from where I left off, regarding China’s basic medical insurance system covers more than 1 billion of the country’s 1.3 billion population. This is on the basis of the report issued by the Ministry of Health.( Xinhua)
The State Council has promised the country would increase the basic medical insurance coverage to at least 90% by 2011.
Having corrected my figures given earlier let me add that China is a state of mind. During the Cold War we read of a bamboo curtain something similar to the Churchillian Iron Curtain. Such curtains are often figments of our own fear. China has always been misunderstood and even vilified for the simple reason that the West found it ‘inscrutable’. We are all on a slowboat as far as anything strange and exotic land is considered. We do not take pains to understand what seems alien or different from the accepted norms. For paddles we use mistrust and hackneyed prejudices. Like the fable we are hares hiding behind a false sense of superiority. China has lot to to teach the world as it has much to learn from others.