The Man Who Was Unable to Accept the Truth

When we refuse to admit a simple truth and become annoyed or irritated, aren’t we as silly as the visitor who enquired about the yokes and could not accept the truth? (Bcmom/Flickr)
When we refuse to admit a simple truth and become annoyed or irritated, aren’t we as silly as the visitor who enquired about the yokes and could not accept the truth? (Bcmom/Flickr)

The following story is from the book Han Feizi, based on Han Feizi’s political career during the Warring States Period.

A long time ago in ancient China, a visitor came to the province of Henan. His appearance suggested that he was strong. This man had never seen a yoke, which is a wooden bar or frame by which draft animals such as oxen or horses pull a cart or wagon.

He asked a bystander pointing at a wooden frame: “What is this?” The man answered that it was a yoke. The stranger looked around and pointed at another object asking the same person: “And what is that?” The person replied that it was also a yoke.

On hearing this, he became angry and punched the man, shouting: “You must be cheating me! How can two different looking things have the same name?”

Moral of the story

Sometimes the truth may be too simple to believe and accept; however, before one rejects it impulsively, it’s better to think about it calmly and then decide. When we refuse to admit a simple truth and become annoyed or irritated, aren’t we as silly as the visitor who enquired about the yokes and could not accept the truth?

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