A Chinese Idiom: The Tree Desires to Remain Still But the Winds Won't Stop

Yi Dou

PureInsight | June 21, 2004

[PureInsight.org] One day, Confucius saw a person sitting and crying at the roadside. Confucius asked him why he was crying so sadly.

The person said, "I am crying because I made three mistakes that can no longer be repaired. I feel sad whenever I think of them. When I was young, I studied ambitiously and neglected to look after my parents. Instead, they had to look after me. I professed to be aloof from worldly affairs and didn't put my whole heart into the work, which hindered my promotion. I have been hostile to other people since childhood, so no one wanted to be my friend. Now I am old and lonely. I am like a tree that desires to remain still but the winds won't stop. I want to make up for my past wrongs, but it's too late now. My parents have already passed away; no one will give me any chance to befriend him, and I am too old to start my career over. Whenever I am reminded of these mistakes, I am overcome with grief."

The idiom, "The tree desires to remain still but the winds won't stop" is an analogy for a situation where a person wants to do something but the circumstances no longer allow it.

Source: A Collection of Anecdotes Compiled by Han Shi (or Han Shi Wai Zhuan in Chinese Pinyin)

Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/5/8/27050.html

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