Monday, January 4, 2010

Confucius and the Widow

Confucius and his students were traveling when they came upon the funeral procession of a young man. "What happened?" he asked. "He was killed by a tiger", cried the mourners. "That's terrible!" Confucius said, "Are there many tigers hereabouts?" "Yes, there are!" they replied, and began telling about all the attacks. It seemed everyone knew someone who'd been killed by a tiger. Confucius asked, "If the tigers here are so bad, then why do you stay?" "Because the laws are good", the victim's widow answered.

After the mourners departed, Confucius turned to his students and said, "The widow spoke the truth, bad laws are more to be feared  than man-eating tigers."

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