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以貌取人【yǐ mào qǔ rén】

Shudan Guan

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Confucius has many students, one of them named Zai Yu, who is eloquent and talkative. He left a good impression on Confucius at first, but lately, he revealed the true side of himself: immoral and lazy, rather than sleeping than going to school. Hence, Confucius becomes completely disappointed in him.

Another student of Confucius called Zi Yu, who is thirty-nine years younger than him, was born with an unpleasant look. Confucius thought he was untalented and couldn’t make high achievements. However, Zi Yu was dedicated to combining practical and theoretical knowledge after learning from Confucius, and he was well-behaved as a person.

Later, Zi Yu travelled to the Changjiang River, had three hundred students followed. His name was famous in several countries. Confucius said after hearing this news, “I see Zai Yu wrongly because I judged by his words and eloquence; I see Zi Yu wrongly because I judged by his appearance.”


[Definition] When someone judges other people merely by appearance.


* If you are interested in Chinese folk tales or ghost stories, have a look at: https://chinesestoriesfolktales.quora.com

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