China the Beautiful

Carry a Long Pole Through the Gate

A man from Lu tried to enter the City Gate carrying a long pole.

First, he held the pole upright, but the pole could not pass through the gate.

Then he held it horizontally; but it still could not pass through. He was stumped.

By and by an old man came along and said to him, "I am not a Saint; but I have a lot of practical experience. Why not cut the pole in two at the middle?"

So the man cut the pole in two at the middle.

-Han Dan Chun, Wei, Three Kingdoms

What is the moral of this story?
    Any one, competent or not, can give advice. It's up to you to seek good advice, which is not always easy.
Have you heard a similar story in the Western literature?


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