There are many Chinese/Asian wisdoms I would like to share. For now on, I would like to share some wisdoms frequently. These wisdoms usually came with a true story dated many years ago and influenced my thinking when I grew up. I really love to draw a picture for each one and make a comic book based on this. If somebody would like to help, that will be great. We can make a great Children book.
The first wisdom comes from my colleague who began to learn Chinese in college and had a roommate from China in the graduate school. He thinks this is a fun wisdom when I asked him what is his favorite. I actually was surprised by his choice. This types of wisdom is called 成语, Cheng Yu, idiom or proverb.
- In English: sandpiper and clam fight each other; neighbors who can’t agree lose out to a third party
- In Chinese: 鹬蚌相争，渔翁得利
There is a great website explaining the story and the origin of the quote very well: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/鷸蚌相爭，漁人得利
- When Zhao was about to attack Yan, Su Dai spoke to King Hui of Zhao on behalf of the king of Yan. He said, “On my way here today, as I crossed the Yi River, I spotted an oyster that had opened its shell to sun itself. Just then, a snipe began to peck at the flesh inside its shell. The oyster closed its shell on the beak of the snipe so that it could not get away.
The snipe said, “It is not raining today, nor will it rain tomorrow. You shall die, Oyster.”
To which the oyster replied, “You shall not escape my grip today, nor shall you escape it tomorrow. It is you who will die (of hunger), Snipe.” Neither side would yield, at which point, a fisherman came by and snatched them both into his net.
Today, Zhao is on the verge of attacking Yan. Yan and Zhao have been at odds for a long time, and have caused their people to suffer. I am afraid that the fisherman in this case will be the mighty Qin. For this reason, I hope that your highness will give the matter your mature consideration. King Hui said, “ok fine” and called off the attack. (Wiktionary translation)
There is a youtube video:
It is a kind of mutual destruction by not thinking in other people’s shoes.