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Mend the fold after a sheep is lost

tech Dec 12.2012 03:02 Comments (1) + Add your comment
Tags: fold, sheep Category:My Blogs

During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), the State of Chu became less powerful during the reign of King Xiang. The king and his important court officials were dissolute and incompetent and indulged themselves in luxury and excessive pleasure. Zhuang Xin, one of the ministers, foresaw that the country would soon be in danger. One day, he remonstrated with the king: "Your Majesty, wherever you go, you're always surrounded by people who flatter you. They do everything to make you happy so that you forget to tend to state affairs. If you go on like this, sooner or later, the country will perish."

The King of Chu flew into a rage. "How dare you! You even use such vicious words to curse my country and mean to arouse resentment among the people!" Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the State of Chu. But I really have a premonition that Chu is facing great danger." Seeing that the king was especially fond of those corrupt officials and trusted them in everything, the minister thought Chu was bound for extinction. So he asked the king to let him leave Chu. He wanted to go to the State of Zhao and stay there for a

The king gave him the leave. Five months later, the King of Qin sent his troops to invade Chu and occupied a large tract of its territory. The King of Chu himself went into exile. Now, the king remembered Zhuang Xin's words. He sent his men to fetch him. Seeing Zhuang Xin again, the king asked him, "What can I do now?"

Zhuang Xin replied, "It's not too late if you mend the sheepfold when finding a sheep is missing." He then made some good suggestions to rehabilitate the state and recover the lost land. The king was very pleased.

The idiom "Mend the fold after a sheep is lost" comes from Zhuang Xin's answer to the king. We still use this metaphor to advise someone that even when he has made a mistake and suffered losses, he can still remedy it by drawing lessons from the mistake.

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1 Comments ( Add your comment )


"Mend the fold after a sheep is lost" Chinese meaning:亡羊补牢--wang yang bu lao.

Dec 29, 2012 19:09

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