Good Stories from China: Pulling the Seedling to Help It Grow

July 10, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: July 10, 2006 12:00 am

There once lived an impatient man in the State of Song during the Spring and Autumn Period about 2,500 years ago. One day, he was concerned that the crops in his field were growing too slowly. So he went to the field, pulling up each and every one of the seedlings to hasten their growth. He was thoroughly tired at the end of the day. Returning home, he said to members of his family, “I am exhausted today; I have helped those seedlings a great deal!” His son was curious about what his father had done. He hurriedly ran to the field, only to find that all seedlings had withered.

How many people in the world who could refrain from hastening the seedlings' growth, unlike this man from the State of Song?

Source: Adapted from “Mencius.”