An unruly horse can still be ridden after taming. Melted metals from the smelting furnace are returned to the mould. A man devoted to idleness and devoid of enthusiasm will make no progress as long as he lives. The hermit Baisha said, “Making mistakes is no cause for shame. What worries me most would be a lifetime without mistakes.” How true those words are!
A wide horse can be tamed for ride. Spattered metal will eventually be picked up and put back into the mould again. As for a person, if he passes his days just in idleness and low spirits, he will be unable to make any progress. Mr. Baisha1 said, “It is not a shame if one recognizes that he has made many mistakes. What worries me most is that one claims not to have made any mistakes in his life.” How true the phrases are!
1. Mr. Baisha: Chen Xianzhang (1428-1500), a man of letters in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He lived as a hermit in his later years in Baisha, eastern Xinhui in Guangdong Province, hence styled. He had written many impressive poems and essays.
The violent horse that upsets the carriage can be broken for riding, and the molten metal that flies out of the furnace is put in the matrix in the end. But if someone is idle and dispirited, he will get nowhere all his life. The scholar Chen Xianzhang said: “It is no shame for one to have faults: what I worry about is to have no faults all one’s life.” How true that is!