Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Story of Confucius Two--Retrieve Horse

One day, Confucius went out for a tour. While he were having a rest, his horse run away and ate a farmer's crop in the field. The angry farmer caught the horse and locked it in his yard. After knowing what happened, Confucius asked Zi Gong.


 Zi Gong is one of best students of Confucius, a well learned scholar and capable eristic. to retrieve his horse.
Walking to the farmer's house, Zi Gong very politely asked him to return his teacher's horse. But to his surprise, the man had no response but a word "no". Disappointedly, he went back to Confucius and began to complain of the farmer's rudeness.

Confucius said: "It is my fault not the farmer's. I should not have let you do this. You are a knowledgeable scholar, while he is a badly educated farmer. You two speak different language. Using reasons that the listener can not understand to persuade him is like feeding wide beasts with precious sacrifice, playing elegant music for flying birds."

So Confucius had his stableman go to the farmer's place again. The stableman said to the farmer: "You farm in the east, and I live in the west. We don't know each other, but our crop looks the same. How can the horse know the crop is yours or mine?"
The farmer was fully convinced and happily returned Confucius's horse.

Writer Comment:

Some like showing off their knowledge and experience regardless of the occasion. That is why some well-educated persons are often unable to have things done properly.

If you want to persuade someone, you have to make your theory understandable to your listener.

But like the old saying goes: birds of a feather flock together, people tend to repel those who do not belong to their group. In terms of this story, it is doubted whether the farmer would buy the same theory, if it were said by Zi Gong rather than the stableman. Because the farmer and Zi Gong fall in two totally different groups, which produces a deep gap between the two. One of the main jobs of a leader is to find right persons for different groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment