Friday, January 6, 2012

A mirror Canada may need to remove hypocrisy

叶公好龙 Ye Gong Hao

Hi, Happy New Year 2012!

2012 is a year of dragon in China. This let me ring the bell of a Chinese idiom Yè Gōng Hào Lóng (叶公好龙), which can be translated in English as Lord Ye’s love of the dragon or Professed love of what one really fears.

Some analysts believe this ancient Chinese idiom may also be useful as a mirror to remove some hypocrisy of our Canada and make us behave better.

Let us read the story of the idiom as follows,

Long long ago, there lived a duke whom people address as Lord Ye. Everyone in the town knew that Lord Ye was very fond of dragons. His home was a world of dragons. He decorated everything in his house with this mythical creature. The walls had dragons painted on them. The beams and pillars and the doors and windows were all carved with them. Even his robe, bedding, bed curtains and chair cushions were embroidered with dragons. What’s more, dragons adorned his cups, plates, bowls, and dishes.

When the real dragon in heaven learned of this, he was deeply moved. He decided to visit Lord Ye to thank him in person. So one stormy night, the dragon descended to earth. He thrust his head through the window and dragged its long tail in the sitting room.

You might think Lord Ye would have been very happy to see a real dragon. But no! At the sight of the creature, he was scared out of his wits and ran away as fast as his legs could carry him.

After this incident, people knew that Lord Ye only loved pictures or carvings, which look like dragons, not the real thing.

From that story we get the idiom 叶公好龙(yè gōng hào lóng). We use it to ridicule a person whose professed love or support for something cannot stand the test of reality.

After you read the story, what do you think on our Canada? Does it have also such hypocrisy the story told us?

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