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Chinese Proverbs During The Time Of Ancient China

1413 words - 6 pages

Proverbs are common sayings that are used to illustrate a point to give advice to people on how to live. Chinese proverbs are the common sayings that are used during the time of ancient China. They have existed for thousands of years. According to Chinese Proverb Stories, a website that describes the different kinds of proverbs, "Historical Chinese proverbs are used to illustrate a point, describe a legendary figure, or describe a historical event" (chineseproverbstories.com). Many of these proverbs derived from ancient literature. These proverbs are usually associated with myths or historical facts to educate about morality. Many of these Chinese proverbs came from philosophers and poets such as Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Mozi, and many others. Chinese proverbs are expressions used to educate people about morality on how to lead lives.
千里之行, 始于足下, Qiānlǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zúxià, is a proverb developed by 半途而废, Bàntú'érfèi, a Chinese philosopher and poet. He is believed to have found Taoism, a philosophy that advocates about the simplicity and calmness of living life. Its literal translation in English, "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet," was coined by Dr. Hilmar Klaus, a Daoist writer and psychologist. According to Thomas Cleary, author of Further Teachings of Lao-tzu, this proverb may have derived from around the time of c. 604-c. 531 B.C. in the Tao Te Ching, a Chinese classic text. That was the time period when Lao-tzu lived his life and did most of his work. The moral meaning of this proverb is that we must take the initiative to begin the first step in order to achieve or thrive in anything. We all have the opportunity to thrive and excel; however, to actually succeed is based on your self-motivation to want to thrive and succeed to beginning the first move. The task could be daunting but as long as one is willing to start working on the problem, it may be solved. Therefore, this proverb serve a purpose to educate people that in order to be successful, one must begin with the first step in order to lead a successful life.
一诺千金 —, Yī Nuò Qiān Jīn, is a proverb that stresses about the trustworthiness of a person. It is translated into English as "A very trustworthy person will always do what he has promised." This phrase probably derived from around the time of the Han Dynasty. It probably derived from the Han Dynasty because the story of this proverb revolved around a man named Ji Bu during the Han Dynasty. Ji Bu was an upright and honest person who was serious about the issues of justice; he was always determined to do the things he had promised. Due to his honorable morality, Emperor Liu Bang wanted to arrest JI Bu and execute him, however, a man with the surname Zhou helped protect Ji Bu due to his admiration of JI Bu. Mr. Zhou sent Ji Bu to a peasant's house and pleaded with Emperor Liu Bang about the good things that Ji Bu had done, which made the emperor reversed his order of wanting to execute Ji Bu. Ji Bu...

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