Chinese Idiom:临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng )

During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋 chūn qiū,770 – 221BC),the ruler of the state of Lu(lú guó 鲁国) was Lu Zhaogong (lú zhāo gōng 鲁昭公),a man without the ability to jude the right from wrong. He preferred to listen to the sweet words rather than the opinions which might seemd pretty harsh but quite ture. As a result of this,a large mount of treacherous court officials who were good at licking leader’s boots gradully gained their power within the government since they knew exactly how to cater to the vain king. Meanwhile,the dedicated and rayal ones who really committed themselves to contribute to the coutry’s welfare were elbowed out of the central administration. As a consequence of that, nation’s comprehensive strength of Lu was weakened day by day on account of the poor managenment and serious corruptions. Before long,the once vigorous state was totally smashed by one army country.

Chu Zhaogong himself had a narrow escape from being killed.He then came to the state of Qi(qí guó 齐国) to seek the shielter for that he and Qi Jinggong (qí jǐng gōng 齐景公), the king of Qi had developed a good friendship. He told Qi Jinggong that he regretted to death for trusting the wrong persons. If not,he would not be down and out right now. Hearing his remark,Yan Zi (yàn zǐ晏子),the intelligent and renowned minster of Qi,replied:"only when a man falls into the water,can he take care of hie feet;only when a man be confronted with the invasion,can he manufactured weapons rashily;only when a man is badly thirsty,can he dig a well for the water. So,it’ s too little to late for your regret. After all ,you can’t turn the clock back."

Today,the phrase"to begin to dig a well when feeling thirsty”is used to refer to people who aren’t well prepared for the future crisis. At that time,it’s too late to complain.




临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng )
【翻译】to begin to dig a well when feeling thirsty.

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