Stopping Halfway


In the state of Wei, lived a man named Leyangtsi. One day, Leyangtsi found a piece of gold on his way home, and he ran home to show it to his wife. She looked at it and said, “It is said that a true man never drinks the stolen water. How can you pick up another’s loss and possess it as your own?” Leyangtsi took it back to where it was. The next day, Leyangtsi went to a distant place to study. After a year, he suddenly returned home.

His wife was weaving on the loom. He explained how he missed her. Angrily, she picked up a pair of scissors and cut down what she had woven. Leyangtsi was puzzled. She declared, “If something is stopped halfway, it is just like the cut cloth on the loom. The cloth will only be useful if it is finished. And so it is with your studies.” Leyangtsi was deeply moved by his wife. He left home and went on with his studies. Several years later, he became a very learned man.

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