Sunday, September 25, 2011

梁上君子 The Gentleman on the Beam

你知道为什么中国人把小偷也叫做“梁上君子”吗? 中国汉朝有一个陈先生, 很会教育人, 所以他的孩子都很听话。 有一天晚上,一个小偷来到他家,蹲在他家的屋梁上,正准备下来偷东西,没想到陈先生从外边回来了,他一进来就看见了小偷。但是他没有马上叫人来抓他,而是假装没看见,把自己的孩子叫来, 很认真的对他们说: “一个人要经常提醒自己不能做坏人。 坏人不是生下来就是坏人, 而是因为经常做坏事, 慢慢地才变成了坏人, 就像梁上的哪位君子一样。”小偷听了吓得从屋梁上掉了下来。
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Do you know why thieves are also called "gentlemen upon the beam" in Chinese?  There was a Mr. Chen in the  Han Dynasty in China, who was good at giving people lectures. So all of his children were very obedient. One night, a thief came to his house and was squatting on the beam of his house. He was about to come down to steal things when unexpectedly Mr. Chen came home from outside. As soon as he entered the room he spotted the thief. However, he didn't call others to catch him right away. Instead, he pretended to have not seen the thief, and summoned his own children. He said to them very seriously: " A man needs to remind himself frequently not to be a bad guy.  A bad guy was not born to be bad.  But because he often did bad things, he would gradually turn bad...  just like the gentleman on the beam!"  Hearing this, the thief was so scared that he fell down from the beam.

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