I wrote this essay for my Chinese class. We were assigned a story and told to write 300 – 500 characters about our feelings on the subject. Those of you who know me know I don’t have that many feelings, so I spent a lot of time re-telling the story.
As it turns out, I got a story that that explains an idiom that’s related to paranoia. My essay without corrections is below, and my translation is under that. The translation is faithful to my word choice in Chinese, but it’s very possible I’ve been too generous in my grammatical clarity. Consider it more of an intended meaning!
第 一位杞人把腦子的力量 用光了擔心不重要的事。我們可能笑他的膽小，說誰叫他想這麼笨的想法，可是有很多人像他這樣神經過敏。這個故事和這條成語告訴我們生活不該像這位一樣！對 我來說，各有各的隱憂可是我們由自己來想：這個事情重不重要？怎麼決定呢？先問聰明人的看法，等自己想一下以後，再決定要不要憂慮。這樣可以好好兒地集注 活的精華。
“The man from Qi is afraid of the sky”: Explaining an idiom
In Chinese, there is an idiom that drives students crazy. Many chengyu are not clear, but “The man from Qi fears the sky” is especially hard to understand. To make the meaning clear, it is necessary to begin with a story.
A long time ago in China there was a small country. In this country there was a man who was both cowardly and nervous. He was pitiable beyond words: he didn’t think about realistic issues; he worried that the sky would collapse and smash him to death! His kindly friend, in order to comfort him, said “The world isn’t ordered this way! The sky is made of gas; tell me, how could it fall down?”
“If it’s as you say,” responded the man, “The objects suspended in the sky might fall: the sun, the moon, the stars, even Mars!! We will be crushed to death!”
Hearing this wild babble, his friend gave up.