Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 year of the ox




Picture source: look here
Text source: Korea.net

Once upon a time in Korea, a young nobleman was traveling through the countryside. He saw an old man plowing the land with two oxen – one yellowish brown and the other black. After watching for some time, the noble finally asked, “Old man, which ox is a better worker, the brown one or the black one?”

The old man stopped his work. He walked right into the tree shade where the nobleman was resting and whispered into his ears. “The brown one is better.”

The noble was dumbfounded by this attitude. “You didn't need to come all the way here to tell me that. And why the whispering?” he asked.

The old man got upset. “Both my oxen are hard-working. If I reveal my favorite, it will hurt the feelings of the other one. You shouldn't say such a thing out loud, even to an animal.”

The young noble returned to the court and for the rest of his life, never spoke an ill word against others for the rest of his life. Such is an anecdote concerning Hwang Hui (1363 – 1452), prime minister during the Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910) and right-hand man of the scholar-king Sejong the Great (1397 – 1450).

3 Comments:

Blogger Betsy said...

What a great fable! (and a great life lesson as well!)

Happy New Year, Brit! May 2009 bring you lots of warmth, love, health and happiness!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Third Mom said...

This is wonderful!

This is also a big year for my husband and me - hwangap. We finish five full 12-year cycles of the Asian zodiac this year. Pretty cool, I think :)

7:14 AM  
Blogger jabo said...

Also known as the Buffalo, the ox is both patient and meticulous with strong principles, and as such tends to be very stubborn. The ox is extrememly strong, and an excellent worker.

However, these traits also make the ox stubborn, and their sense of self reliance makes it difficult for them to ask for or to receive assistance. Don't go looking for an evening of scintilating conversation from an ox as they are poor conversationists, and unfortunately don't have much of a sense of humour either.

Oxen are ruled by conviction, and they are not often swayed from their beliefs. The ox's ability to criticise others for their own shortcomings is well known. The ox is not very good at coping with its emotions, and can become introverted and self-destructive when they fail to find a way of expressing their feelings.
new age

11:34 PM  

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