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Home Chinese Idiom 临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng )
临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng )
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During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋 chūn qiū,770 - 221BC),the ruler of the state of Lu(lú guó 鲁国) was Lu Zhaogong (lú zhāo gōng 鲁昭公),a man without the ability to jude the right from wrong. He preferred to listen to the sweet words rather than the opinions which might seemd pretty harsh but quite ture. As a result of this,a large mount of treacherous court officials who were good at licking leader's boots gradully gained their power within the government since they knew exactly how to cater to the vain king. Meanwhile,the dedicated and rayal ones who really committed themselves to contribute to the coutry’s welfare were elbowed out of the central administration. As a consequence of that, nation's comprehensive strength of Lu was weakened day by day on account of the poor managenment and serious corruptions. Before long,the once vigorous state was totally smashed by one army country.

Chu Zhaogong himself had a narrow escape from being killed.He then came to the state of Qi(qí guó 齐国) to seek the shielter for that he and Qi Jinggong (qí jǐng gōng 齐景公), the king of Qi had developed a good friendship. He told Qi Jinggong that he regretted to death for trusting the wrong persons. If not,he would not be down and out right now. Hearing his remark,Yan Zi (yàn zǐ晏子),the intelligent and renowned minster of Qi,replied:"Only when a man falls into the water,can he take care of hie feet;Only when a man be confronted with the invasion,can he manufactured weapons rashily;Only when a man is badly thirsty,can he dig a well for the water. So,it’ s too little to late for your regret. After all ,you can’t turn the clock back."

Today,the phrase"to begin to dig a well when feeling thirsty”is used to refer to people who aren’t well prepared for the future crisis. At that time,it’s too late to complain.

春秋时期,鲁国的国王鲁昭公喜欢听人说好话,不喜欢接受别人的意见。于是,擅长拍马屁的小人们逐渐掌握了权利,正直忠诚的大臣们反而被排挤出了中央政府。慢慢地,鲁国由于政府的无能渐渐衰落了,最后被一个敌国消灭了。

鲁昭公逃到了齐国,因为他和齐国的国王齐景公有很好的私交。他对自己以前的行为后悔得要死,觉得自己当时能分清好坏,就不会落到今天如此下场。齐国有名的大臣晏子却认为:掉在水里的人,一定要等到掉进水里以后,才会想起应该防备失足;迷路的人,迷失了方向之后,才知道应该注意路径。犹如面临灾难的人,才急着铸造兵器;只有感觉到口渴的人,才会去挖井取水。虽然这时候用最快的速度,但是已经来不及了。

后来,“临渴掘井”就用来形容平时对各种事情不做准备,不加提防,等到事情已就要发生时,才忙着采取措施去应付,那是行不通的。

临渴掘井 (lín kě jué jǐng )
【翻译】to begin to dig a well when feeling thirsty.
【释义】到口渴才知道挖井。比喻事先没有准备,临时才想办法。
【例句】马上就考试了,小明平时没有认真看书,只有临渴掘井,熬夜复习了。
【近义词】措手不及、临阵磨枪
【反义词】有备无患、常备不懈

Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2009 19:15
 

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