53 Brentwood Blog

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Confucian story

The story begins in the usual manner, with the king asking his faithful minister, Gun, to save the country from rising waters. Unfortunately, Gun is an arrogant guy and thinks he can control nature. For nine years he labors, building dam after dam to stem the raging tide. As each dam falls apart, the waters rage ever stronger. Eventually, the king wises up, banishes Gun, and orders Gun's son, Yu, to have a go. A humble man, Yu quietly studies the problem and concludes that attempting to constrain nature is futile. Rather than build dams, he gently channels the flood waters into an irrigation system. The crops bloom, the waters recede, the people are saved and Yu is anointed king.

By Ellen Ruppel Shell, Sunday, September 4, 2005.
The Washington Post.


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