Pull your sheep, a good life to keep

牽羊悔亡
ken.you.kai.bou

Literally: pull / lead – sheep – regret – perish

Alternately: You’ll be unhappy unless you take an active part in shaping things. If you see something through properly instead of just letting it run its natural course, you will have no regrets. A flock of sheep left to their own devices will wander, lock horns, and otherwise run into trouble, so human guidance is necessary – and so it is in other facets of life as well.

Notes: This comes to us from the I Ching (易経, Japanese Ekikyou). Interestingly, the compound can be read, kanbun-style, as 羊を牽けば悔い亡びん (Hitsuji wo hikeba kui horobin).

Keep in mind that 悔亡 doesn’t mean “suffer and die”; it means “suffering will disappear.”

KenYouKaiBouEma

What looks like an ema (prayer plaque) at a shrine.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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1 Response to Pull your sheep, a good life to keep

  1. Dad says:

    Hi Richard: This is definitely the story of my romantic life. Autopilot didn’t work well for my two marriages. I have resolved to be very deliberate in my relationship with Kim.

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