Chinese Idiom Story “亡羊補牢”

A man who raised sheep once noticed there was a hole in the walls of his sheepfold. But he neglected to repair it. A few days later, several sheep were missing. His friend advised him: “It is not too late to mend the sheepfold.”

“Wang Yang Bu Lao” or “Mending the sheepfold after the sheep have been stolen” advises us that even though we have suffer a loss, it is never too late to take steps to prevent further losses.

戰國時代,楚國有一個大臣,名叫莊辛,有一天對楚襄王說:“你在宮裏面的時候,左邊是州侯,右邊是夏侯;出去的時候,鄢陵君和壽跟君又總是隨看你。你和這四個人專門講究奢侈淫樂,不管國家大事,郢(楚都,在今湖北省江陵縣北)一定要危險啦!”襄王聽了,很不高與,氣罵道:“你老糊塗了嗎?故意說這些險惡的話惑亂人心嗎?”

莊辛不慌不忙的回答說:“我實在感覺事情一定要到這個地步的,不敢故意說楚國有什麽不幸。如果你一直寵信這個人,楚國一定要滅亡的。你既然不信我的話,請允許我到趙國躲一躲,看事情究竟會怎樣。”

莊辛到趙國才住了五個月,秦國果然派兵侵楚,襄王被迫流亡到陽城(今河南息縣西北)。這才覺得莊辛的話不錯,趕緊派人把莊辛找回來,問他有什麽辦法;莊辛很誠懇地說:“我聽說過,看見兔子牙想起獵犬,這還不晚;羊跑掉了才補羊圈,也還不遲。……”

是一則很有意義的故事,只知道享樂,不知道如何做事,其結果必然是遭到悲慘的失敗無疑。

“亡羊補牢”這句成語,便是根據上面約兩句話而來的,表達處理事情發生錯誤以後,如果趕緊去挽救,還不爲遲的意思。例如一個事業家,因估計事情的發展犯了錯誤,輕舉冒進,陷入失敗的境地。但他並不氣餒,耐心地將事情再想了一遍,從這次的錯誤中吸取教訓,認爲“亡羊補牢”,從頭做起,還不算晚呢!

亡羊補牢 (wáng yáng bǔ láo)
【翻譯】It is not too late to mend the fold even after some sheep have been lost.
【釋義】羊逃跑了再去修補羊圈,還不算晚。比喻出了問題以後想辦法補救,可以防止繼續受損 失。

Yáng táopǎole zài qù xiūbǔ yáng juàn, hái bù suàn wǎn. Bǐyù chūle wèntí yǐhòu xiǎng bànfǎ bǔjiù, kěyǐ fángzhǐ jìxù shòu sǔnshī.
【例句】既然小偷已經來過了,就注意防盜吧,亡羊補牢總不會錯。

Jìrán xiǎotōu yǐjīng láiguòle, jiù zhùyì fángdào ba, wángyángbǔláo zǒng bù huì cuò.
【近義詞】知錯就改

Zhī cuò jiù gǎi

 


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