不合时尚

In the past, there was a married couple in the State of Lu. The husband was a shoemaker who made very good shoes. The wife was a good hand at weaving silk. One day, the couple decided1 to go to the State of Yue to make a living.

 

When this news spread around, one man tried to dissuade2 them: "You had better not go. If you go to the State of Yue to make a living, that would be too bad. Over there, you certainly cannot make a living!"

 

The couple asked in surprise: "We don't understand what you mean. Each of us has superb craftsmanship3. How is it possible that we couldn't make a living? Don't talk nonsense!"

 

Thereupon, the man said to them: "Right. You indeed have superb craftsmanship. But you probably don't know the situation. You make shoes for people to wear, but the people in the State of Yue like to go barefooted and do not wear shoes; you weave silk to make hats, but the people there like to have their hair hanging down and do not wear hats. Then, how can you sell the shoes and hats you make? Though you are highly skilled, your manual skills are of no use over there. Then how can you make a living?"

 

After hearing this, the husband and wife saw the light: "Oh, so our way of thinking is against the current fashion."

 

从前,鲁国有这么一对夫妇:丈夫是一个鞋匠,鞋子做得很好;妻子是一个织绢能手。一天,这两口子商量决定,去越国谋生。

 

这消息一传开,就有一个人去劝他们说:“还是不要去吧。如果你们到越国去谋生,那可糟了。在那里,你们一定会无法生活下去的!”

 

他俩奇怪地问:“我们不懂你说的意思!我们各人有一门手艺,怎么会生活不了呢?别胡说了!”

 

于是,那人对他俩说:“对呀,你们手艺的确很好。不过你们大概不了解情况吧!你们做了鞋子,原来是给人穿的,可是越国人喜欢赤脚,不穿鞋子;你们织的丝绢,原来是做帽子用的,可是越国人喜欢披着头发,不戴帽子。那么,你们做的鞋子、帽子,怎么卖得出去呢?你们的技艺虽然很高,可是在那里却用不上。到那时候,看你们怎么生活。”

 

这对夫妻听后,恍然大悟:“噢,原来我们的想法不合时尚啊!”

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