There lived a foolish man in a small state called Zheng; in China.  One day he was going to buy himself a pair of new shoes. So he measured his feet with a piece of string and cut it to match the size of his foot. But he was in such a hurry to set out that he left it at home.

Knowing the market would be closed by afternoon, he wasted no time in shopping for his shoes. At a shoe store, he picked out a pair which he liked very much, but before he could make up his mind, he wanted to measure them against the string to make sure the size was right. He felt in the pocket only to find that it was not there.

He said apologetically to the storekeeper: “How forgetful I am! I’ll have to go back to fetch the measurement. without it I don’t know the size.”

With these words he put down the shoes and hurried off as fast as his legs could carry him. When he got home. he found the string lying on the chair. He grabbed it and ran back to the market at the same speed as he dashed home.

But it yet took him quite a while and the shop was already closed then. He stared at his string, looking sad. “I should have brought the string the first time!” he said.

Someone nearby heard him and asked: “Did you buy the shoes for yourself or someone else?”

‘For myself, of course.’ he answered. ‘Then why don’t you try them on by yourself?’

Writer Comment

Zheng Ren Mai Lu; A Foolish Man Buys Shoes is used to satirize those who believe only in dogma and ignore objective reality. It tells us not to always believe in the official “textbooks” or what the statistics say. Sometimes we’ve got to think about things in a different way – “thinking outside the box” – and adjust our plans or actions accordingly.

tis story found here… Chinese Story Online

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another zendictive related tale… Change

may you fare-well through life this day

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