Fish - 鱼我所欲也 yú wǒ suǒ yù yě



孟子 or better known as Mencius is the philosopher you can relate with when you think of this 'You cannot have your cake and eat it too' The famous chapter is 《鱼我所欲章》'Fish Chapter I Desire'

Life is something that I desire, but I have a greater desire for something other than life, so I will not betray my principles. 

 “鱼,我所欲也,熊掌,亦我所欲也; "Fish, my desire also, PAWS, also I desire also;
二者不可得兼,舍鱼而取熊掌者也。 Which can not be get and, and take up the fish are PAWS. 生,亦我所欲也,义,亦我所欲也; Life, also my desire also, righteousness, also I desire also; 二者不可得兼,舍生而取义者也。” Which can not be get and, give birth and take righteous one also.

" 鱼, 我 所 欲 也; 熊掌, 亦 我 所 欲 也。 二者 不可 得 兼, 舍 鱼 而 取 熊掌 者 也。 生, 我 所 欲 也, 义, 亦 我 所 欲 也。 二者 不可 得 兼, 舍 生 而 取 义 者 也。 生 亦 我 所 欲, 所 欲 有 甚 于 生 者, 故 不 为 苟 得 也。 死 亦 我 所 恶, 所 恶 有 甚 于 死者, 故 患 有所 不 避 也。 如 使 人 之 所 欲 莫 甚 于 生, 则 凡 可以 得 生 者 何不 用 也? 使 人 之 所 恶 莫 甚 于 死者, 则 凡 可以 避 患者 何不 为 也? 由 是 则 生, 而 有 不用 也; 由 是 则 可以 避 患, 而 有 不 为 也。 是 故 所 欲 有 甚 于 生 者, 所 恶 有 甚 于 死者。 非 独 贤 者 有 是 心 也, 人 皆 有 之, 贤 者 能 勿 丧 耳。 一 箪 食, 一 豆 羹, 得 之 则 生, 弗 得 则 死。 呼 尔 而 与 之, 行 道 之 人 弗 受; 蹴 尔 而 与 之, 乞 人 不 屑 也。 万 钟 则 不 辨 礼 义 而 受 之, 万 钟 与 我 何 加 焉? 为 宫 室 之 美, 妻 妾 之 奉, 所 识 穷 乏 者 得 我 欤? 乡 为 身 死 而 不 受, 今 为 宫 室 之 美 为 之; 乡 为 身 死 而 不 受, 今 为 妻 妾 之 奉 为 之; 乡 为 身 死 而 不 受, 今 为 所 识 穷 乏 者 得 我 而 为 之。 是 亦 不可 以 已 乎? 此 之 谓 失 其 本 心。

Listen to it here In Chinese

In English: Fish, I desire it; bear's paw, I also desire it. If I cannot have them both, I will give up the fish in favor of the bear's paw. Life, I desire it, virtue, I also desire it. If I cannot have them both, I will give up life in favor of virtue. Life is something that I desire, but I have a greater desire for something other than life, so I will not betray my principles. Death is something that I loathe, but I have a greater loathing for something other than death, so when faced with death I will not always flee. If a person does not have a desire that is greater than the desire for life, what prevents one from using any means to survive? If a person does not have a loathing that is greater than the loathing of death, what prevents one from using any means to flee death? There are ways to survive, but some do not use them; there are ways to avoid death, but some will not do that. This is because they have things that they desire more than life, they have things that they loathe more than death. Worthy people are not the only ones who have those values, all people have them, but only the worthy ones managed to act without losing those values. A bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, obtaining them will allow one to live, failing to obtain them will result in death (by starvation). Yell at the people to eat, and those passing by will refuse; step on the food that you are offering, and the beggars will refuse to touch it. Some saw the wealth of an office and they accepted without regard for propriety and ethics, what good will the wealth of an office do for me? For a beautiful house, for the concubines' attentions, for the impoverished people to revere me? There used to be people who would rather die than to accept (something morally wrong), now some are willing to accept for a beautiful house; there used to be people who would rather die than to accept, now some are willing to accept for the concubines' attentions; there used to be people who would rather die than to accept, now some are willing to accept for the impoverished people to revere them. Shouldn't this kind of behavior be stopped? This kind of behavior shows a lack of human morals.
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