Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The following is a story well-known to almost every Chinese. It was written four or five centuries ago by philosopher Li Yukou in his book Lie Zi.
There was a ninety-year old man called Yu Gong in China, who had two big mountains in front of his family home, which caused his family great inconvenience. One day he gathered his family and said: "The two mountains have given us too much trouble getting outside, how about we move them away!" His children and grandchildren all agreed except his wife. She said: "We've been living with such an inconvenience for generations. Why can't we just let it stay there? And where can we dispose of the stones and dirt from these mountains?" It was decided the stones and dirt would be dumped into the sea.
The work began the next day. Their only digging tools were hoes and baskets and they were a far away from the sea. But none of the hardships and difficulties could daunt the brave family. They worked on the mountains every day.
One day, a wise old man called Zhi Sou, upon seeing them attempting to move the mountains was amused, and said to Yu Gong: "You are old and you can barely climb to the mountain top, how do you expect to move the mountains?" Yu Gong replied: "Yes, I am old and I will soon be dead, but I have children, and when my children are dead, there are still my grandchildren. My family will grow and grow and the mountain will get smaller and smaller. With such determination, surely it is possible to move the mountains!"
So Yu Gong and his family carried on with their work day after day and year after year, through hot Summer to cold Winter until one day, God in heaven was moved by them and sent two immortals to take the two mountains away. The moral of the story is many tasks appear unachievable but with determination anything can be achieved.