Yugong Yishan

This is an ancient proverb from China. The story is as follows.

There was once an elderly man whose house had in front of it a couple of mountains, making it inconvenient for him to come and go across them to his fields. He wanted to cross them with greater ease so he had an idea.

He gathered his family and started to level the mountains. His neighbour said “You are a fool. You are too old and weak to level a small hill let alone two big mountains”. But the old man said “I have two sons, and my sons have sons. I have endless rourses whereas the mountains won’t grow any higher”.

The spirit of this ‘old foolish man’ inspired the heavens so it sent two immortal beings to move the mountains away. This story describes having a positive attitude in the face of adversity and an indomitable will. It also makes sense of the modern Chinese mindset that things in the world are there to be manipulated successfully if people work together harmoniously. Will the foolish man’s fields still be there for his son’s son’s son’s son’s? Or will the ecology have changed the land for the worse?

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About psyft

Ps-y-ft (si-fu-t) v. 1. Something a little bit different, 2. Random interest 3. To dredge through and extract 4. To pan for digital trinkets 5. Trawling the internet's seabed for whatever web-based plankton we can find. 5. Perusing the internet's shelves 5. Looking sideways.
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