Yutang Lin

Sincere advice is unpleasant to hear; it does not register.
Whatever stays near red becomes scarlet; pollution spreads.
Knowingly violate the regulations; rules become damaged.
Unable to keep honor toward the end; fall is indeed deep.


In general, falling is a gradual process of becoming corrupted. It begins with not listening to prudent advice and becoming close to flatterers. Gradually the pollution becomes accustomed and deepens until rules are knowingly trespassed. Consequently, all kinds of activities become permissible and one could not pull oneself out of such a whirlpool. There happens to be four Chinese idioms that can be gathered to describe this process. (The four lines above began with these idioms.)

Written in Chinese and translated on December 22, 2000
El Cerrito, California

[Home][Back to list][Back to Chinese versions]