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(57) TREADING ON THE ELDER'S MOUTH


Once upon a time there was an extremely wealthy elder whose attendants were eager to please him by paying him all due deference. When he spat, the attendants rubbed it with their feet. Among them was this stupid man who said to himself, "When he spits on the ground, others rub it with their feet, Now I'm going to be the first one to render the service of rubbing it when he spits next time."
So when the Elder was about to cough and spit out, the man kicked up his foot and trod on the elder's mouth. He broke the old man's lips and teeth. To the stupid man, the elderly man said, "What did you do that for?"
The stupid man replied, "Though I would like to serve you, I have always fallen behind others. So I thought by kicking up my foot when you were about to spit out from your mouth, I would be the first to please you."
People have to pick the right time to do the right thing. They will get into trouble otherwise, even using every possible means to achieve a purpose. Therefore, they should know when it is right or wrong time.

57蹋長者口喻
昔有大富長者,左右之人欲取其意皆盡恭敬。長者唾時,左右侍人以脚蹋却。有一人愚者,不及得蹋,而作是言:「若唾地者諸人蹋却,欲唾之時,我當先蹋。」於是長者正欲咳唾,時此愚人即便舉脚蹋長者口,破脣折齒。長者語愚人言:「汝何以故蹋我脣口?」愚人答言:「若長者唾出口落地,左右諂者已得蹋去,我雖欲蹋,每常不及。以是之故,唾欲出口舉脚先蹋,望得汝意。」
凡物須時,時未及到,彊設功力返得苦惱,以是之故世人當知時與非時。

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