China the Beautiful

Rain Ruined the Wall

There was a rich man from Song, whose house wall was ruined by heavy rain.

His son said, "If we don't repair the wall at once, thieves may come at night."  And his neighbor's father told him the same thing.

Sure enough, thieves came at night, and he suffered heavy losses.

The rich man thought his son was very smart; but he was suspicious of his neighbor's father.

[HanFei Zi:] Both men said the same thing. Yet he thought well of one and ill of the other person. Knowing the facts is easy. Knowing how to act based on the facts is difficult.

Discourse on "What's Difficult",
Chap. 12 by Han Fei Zi,

What is the moral of this story?
Have you heard a similar story in the Western literature?


Chinese text | Home of Story Page