成語故事

To Lose The Sheep On A Forked Road

Yang-tz was a great scholar of the Warring States Period. One day, his neighbor lost a sheep, and asked many of his friends and relatives to come help him look for it. Yang-tz asked his neighbor why he needed so many people to look for a single lost sheep. The neighbor replied that it was because there were many forks in the road, and without many people it would be impossible to find the sleep.

After awhile, all of the people who had been out looking for the sheep returned, none of them having had any luck. Yang-tz again asked his neighbor why, with so many people looking for the sheep, none of them had been able to find it. The neighbor answered that is was because each of the forks in the road had yet another fork, so the people looking for the sheep all ran back and forth several times. When his students asked him why he was so concerned about one little lost sheep, that wasn't even his own, Yang-tz replied, "I have learned somthing from this. When studying, if we don't take the right road, we'll wind up just like the people looking for the sheep. We'll waste time and energy, and yet never get anywhere."

Today, a person who does not concentrate on the subject he is studying or the task he is performing, and therefore achieves nothing, can be said to have "lost the sheep on a forked road."

歧路亡羊

楊朱是戰國時代的人。

有一天,楊朱的弟弟楊布穿了一件白衣服出門。回來時,因為天下雨,就在朋友處借穿了一件黑衣服回來了。他家的狗追著他狂叫。楊布很生氣,拿了棒子要打狗。楊朱勸他說:“不要打狗了,你平心靜氣的想一想:假使你的狗出去的時候,是一條白的,回來時變成了一條黑狗,你是不是就能認出來呢?”

楊朱的鄰居走失了一隻羊。鄰居全家出動去找尋,又來找楊朱的學生幫忙。楊朱說:“只是丟了一隻羊,問什麼要那麼多人去找呢?”鄰居說:“因為岔道太多。”晚上大家空手回來了,楊朱問:“怎麼去了這麼多人還找不到呢?”鄰居說:“哎,岔道上還有岔道,我們不知道羊跑到哪條路上去了。” 楊朱一整天都沒有說話。

“歧路亡羊”比喻事物複雜多變,沒有正確的方向就會誤入歧途。


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