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Old and Die for the Thief Is Also

... that's what Google Translate produces for 老而不死是為賊也.

The Chinese sentence is a Confucian proverb: "To be old and not die is to be a thief as well." i.e., to cling to a role in society when you have outlived your usefulness in it is to rob future generations of progress.

To be cross-posted to comptranslation.

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Banazir

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
banazir
Nov. 15th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Literal vs. figurative intent of the idiom
I wouldn't go that far, especially considering what Confucius thought of filial obligation. Rather, he was saying that one should only live as long as it takes to acquire moral rectitude. "The measure of a man's life is not how long but how good," he said. In his view it was not desirable that a man should die the same evening after hearing the Way, but if he must, it could be borne.

My point was that one should not seek to outlive one's professional usefulness, but to be useful one's whole "life", i.e., career.

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Banazir
(Anonymous)
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)
and..
And also perhaps he intended that those elders who FELT, believed and were persuaded that way would not want to exist as mere shells.

yr coz.. or nephew.. lol.. Steve
banazir
Nov. 15th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Mere shells
I suspect that's the precise sentiment.

Welcome! Thinking about getting an LJ? :-D

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Banazir
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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