成語故事

One Day of Sunlight Followed By Ten Days of Cold

Meng-tz lived during the Warring States Period. He was not only very knowledgeable but also very eloquent. He often used very vivid analogies to persuade kings of that period to do good deeds.

Everyone said that the king of Ch'i was stupid, without his own ideas, and easily influenced by his wicked ministers. This greatly displeased Meng-tz, so he went to the king and said, "Don't think I'm saying you're not intelligent. Everyone knows that plants all need sunlight to grow. If you expose them to sunlight for a day, and then keep them in dark for ten days, even those plants which grow easily will not do well. In the same way, the time that I am here with you is not very long. You may develop the will to do good things, but then as soon as I leave, those other people come and lead you astray, and the good will which had just begun to sprout is again destroyed." Following this, Meng-tz drew several more analogies, urging the king to completely devote himself to governing his country.

This idiom is now often used to describe a situation in which a person is trying to learn a thing, but rarely practices.

一暴十寒

春秋戰國時期,出現許多家學派,他們各自堅持自己的主張,並到各國遊說,宣傳自己的學說。這些人不但學問高深、知識豐富,而且能言善辨,往往能說服執政者改變主意。

孟子是當時有名的一位辯士,他幫助齊王施政,看到齊王昏庸、沒有主見、輕信小人讒言,很不滿,就不客氣地對齊王說:「大王,您太不明智了!天下雖有生命力很強、很容易生長的植物,但如果把它放在太陽底下曬一天後,再放在陰寒的地方凍上十天,它還能存活嗎?我在大王身邊的時間很短,即使您接受我一些好的建議,有了一點從善的決心,但只要我一離開,那些奸臣就會在您面前唱反調,哄騙您,大王又常常輕信他們的讒言,這樣怎麼能讓我有成就呢?」他又作了一個比喻:「下棋是件小事,但如果不專心,同樣學不好。奕秋是全國最會下棋的高手,他有兩個徒弟。其中一個非常專心學習下棋,處處聽從奕秋的指導;另一個心不在焉,一直想著用箭射空中的天鵝。同一個老師,同時學習,但兩人的成績卻相差很多。這不是他們的智力不同,而是專心的程度不一樣啊!」

孟子用了兩個比喻告訴齊王做事情要有恆心,要專心,否則是不會成功的。


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